On the F word: a corpus-based analysis of the media representation of feminism in British and German press discourse, 1990-2009

Sylvia Jaworska*, Ramesh Krishnamurthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research in social psychology has shown that public attitudes towards feminism are mostly based on stereotypical views linking feminism with leftist politics and lesbian orientation. It is claimed that such attitudes are due to the negative and sexualised media construction of feminism. Studies concerned with the media representation of feminism seem to confirm this tendency. While most of this research provides significant insights into the representation of feminism, the findings are often based on a small sample of texts. Also, most of the research was conducted in an Anglo-American setting. This study attempts to address some of the shortcomings of previous work by examining the discourse of feminism in a large corpus of German and British newspaper data. It does so by employing the tools of Corpus Linguistics. By investigating the collocation profiles of the search term feminism, we provide evidence of salient discourse patterns surrounding feminism in two different cultural contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-431
Number of pages31
JournalDiscourse and Society
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • British
  • collocation
  • corpus linguistics
  • feminism
  • German
  • post-feminism
  • press discourse

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