Gender and Language, Vol 7, No 3 (2013)

Domestic violence and public participation in the media: The case of citizen journalism

Patricia Bou-Franch

Abstract


Recent research suggests that as a social public problem, domestic violence is sustained in a number of social contexts that naturalize violence against women through gendered discourses and ideologies of male violence. This paper examines domestic violence vis-à-vis public participation in the media. In doing so, it seeks to explore the social public aspects of domestic violence and to investigate whether the gendered discourse of male violence is also sustained through the new electronic spaces of public participation. To this end, a corpus of unsolicited digital comments – a form of ‘citizen journalism’ – to a British online newspaper was compiled and analysed. This paper draws from research on gender, pragmatics and critical/computer-mediated discourse analysis. The analysis reveals that some citizen journalists resorted to abuse-sustaining discourses; these were challenged by others who questioned the gendered ideologies of male violence against women.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.v7i3.275

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