Obesity in the News; A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis

A seminar by Gavin Brookes (Lancaster University)

  • Date: 12 NOVEMBER 2021  from 11:00 to 13:00

  • Event location: online - Teams

  • Type: Seminars

In this talk, I present findings from the Representations of Obesity in the News project – a recent programme of work carried out within the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science at Lancaster University. The aim of this project is to examine the discourses that the British press draws upon to represent the topic of obesity. To do this, we have assembled and analysed a 36-million-word corpus of national British newspaper articles about obesity published between 2008 and 2017. Using a corpus-based approach to Critical Discourse Studies, project has explored how the press represents people with obesity in ways that stigmatise them, how such representations vary according to newspaper formats and political leanings and social variables such as gender and social class, as well as how these representations have changed over time. This seminar will cover some of the main findings in relation to these and our other areas of focus. It will also consider what we can take away from this project in terms of applying and developing corpus linguistic approaches to study health discourse.