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MANTRaP: A Corpus Approach to Researching Gender in Online Misogynist Communities

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Abstract

Published
Publication date30/05/2019
Original languageEnglish
Event12th BAAL LGaS SIG: Intersections of language, gender and sexuality in media and technology - Birmingham City University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 30/05/201930/05/2019
https://www.bcu.ac.uk/news-events/calendar/baalgalsig12

Conference

Conference12th BAAL LGaS SIG
Abbreviated titleLGaS
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBirmingham
Period30/05/1930/05/19
Internet address

Abstract

In this presentation, we introduce our research into various online communities which are characterised by online misogyny and anti-feminism. Although these communities are loosely networked, they form a nexus on the Reddit platform. In particular, we investigate four sub-groups: Incels (Involuntary Celibates), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW, a group that encourages men to distance themselves from women), Pick Up Artists (see Lawson and McGlashan, 2017), and Men’s Rights Activists. Our overarching research question is as follows: How do members of these groups use language to a) represent gendered social actors and b) (re)produce misogyny in online spaces? Our corpora have been collected from three sub-reddits, comprising ca. 21.3 million words in total, although they differ in size. So far, we have combined corpus linguistic approaches - keyword analysis, concordance line analysis, word frequencies - with qualitative appraisal analysis of selected keywords in extended context. Initial findings show that in the incel data, women were only slightly more represented than men and that female social actors were not necessarily represented in more negative ways than male ones. As for the Red Pill Data, initial findings show that ‘women’ and ‘girls’ are appraised in terms of aesthetics and negatively appraised as being incapable and immoral, whereas the evaluation of ‘men’ and ‘guys’ demonstrates more intra-group differentiation and conflict. This intra-group differentiation is also found in the incel data, with men being explicitly evaluated as having a positive or negative appearance and/or personality. For this paper, we will additionally present first findings from a corpus study across the data. For future research, we are planning to extend the research via larger data sets, more qualitative analysis, and collaboration with different academic disciplines. References Lawson, R., & McGlashan, M. (20117). “You need to become prime dick”: A corpus-based analysis of self-help discourses and gender constructions in online seduction communities. Paper presented at the 116th AAA Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., 30 November.