University of Sussex
Cerdá, Yolanda (with abstract).pdf (3.51 MB)

The discursive representation and construction of femininities and masculinities in The Guardian (2013-2018): a corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis

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posted on 2023-06-10, 02:15 authored by Yolanda Cerda
This thesis is a linguistic study of how gender identities are represented and constructed in The Guardian in opinion articles and columns in which gender, gender identities or gender relations is a central or dominant theme. A corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis (CDA) is used to identify discourses in the representation of masculinities and femininities across six years between 2013 and 2018. The analysis focuses on the linguistic representations of social actors, agency and, to an extent, genre analysis. The study of the 700, 000-word corpus aimed to identify dominant, resistant or emergent discourses around gender identities and the ideologies underpinning these in the newspaper which has been described as a self-reflexive publication (Marchi 2019) with arguably unique social and symbolic capital among the UK press. Other aims of the study included the possibility of a joint theorisation of gender which considered masculinities and femininities in relation to each other. The results show that parents and parental identities, feminism and feminists and violence and gender-related pathologies were of particular thematic significance in the corpus. The analysis shows polysemous and evolving discourses of gender over time, especially regarding the representations of parental identities and the relationship of feminism and feminists to masculinity and femininity. However, the results also reveal that the representations of violence, mental ill health and particular pathological representations of gender identities are less nuanced often positioning hegemonic masculinity as both the perpetrator and victim of myriad social as well as interpersonal ills without further interrogation of likely social and structural causes. The thesis argues that the plurality of discourses suggest a lack of clear ideological positioning which is partially indicative of the newspaper’s relationship to a broad international readership


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