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From ‘politically correct councillors’ to ‘Blairite nonsense’: discourses of ‘political correctness’ in three British newspapers.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2003
<mark>Journal</mark>Discourse and Society
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)29-47
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


This article explores discourses of `political correctness' (`PC') in a corpus of articles gathered from three broadsheet newspapers in the UK between 1994 and 1999. Using the software package WordSmith Tools (Scott, 1999) two types of analysis were undertaken: first, a numerical count of so-called `PC'-related terms (`political correctness', `politically correct', etc.) in each of the three newspapers; and second, a compilation of the `keywords' which occurred most frequently within the corpus in relation to the term `political correctness'. Our study reveals an overall decline in the use of `PC'-related terms throughout the period in question, but suggests some interesting shifts in the way in which discourses of `political correctness' have been drawn upon as a means of framing debates over the British Labour Party.