Transgender people in the British press: A corpus-based discourse analysis

Angela Zottola

University of Napoli Federico II

The research that will be presented focuses on the representation of transgender people in the British press, through a comparison between two sub-corpora representative of the popular press and the quality press (Jucker 1992).

Gender variant, non-binary and queer identities are nowadays a topic of discussion in many different domains, and language, due to its social function, has been playing a seminal role in the shaping and negotiating of these identities. The existing binary and heteronormative linguistic categories, generally used in defining gender, are conflicting with gender diversity and gender fluidity, possibly leading to the creation of new hybrid, inclusive, non-discriminating discourses that comprise social, cultural, and legal issues.

Against this backdrop, the press works as one of the most active sources in the creation of these discourses surrounding gender non-conforming people. Therefore, in the framework of Corpus-based Discourse Analysis (Baker, Gabrielatos and McEnery 2013), this investigation will focus on the linguistic choices retraceable in the corpora collected conveying a given representation of the transgender community as a social subject, and highlighting the ideologies underlining this specific discourse, as well as the media stance on transgender people in the UK.

Week 18 2016/2017

Thursday 9th March 2017

Management school LT9