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Inequality, Culture and Difference Research Seminar

Subtle but Stigmatising: The Linguistic Representation of Obesity in the Media

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The first seminar in this year's Inequality, Culture and Difference Research Seminar Series, will begin with a seminar presented by Tara Coltman-Patel, PhD student, NTU.

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Event details

This years Inequality, Culture and Difference Research Seminar Series (2017-2018), will start with a presentation by Tara Coltman-Patel, PhD student at NTU.

Obesity is a highly stigmatised condition and weight stigmas are pervasive throughout society. These stigmas can be overt such as verbal and physical abuse, but they can also be subtle and indirect. Words and phrases which may not seem damaging on the surface can have a serious effect on the way an issue is perceived.

This research focuses on the subtle but prevalent words and phrases used to discuss obesity and obese individuals in British newspapers and the results have been drawn from 11 years, 16.5 thousand articles and 9.7 million words worth of data.

Preliminary results have revealed a pattern of various different linguistic features from verb choices to infectious disease metaphors, that tarnish the perception of obesity. These will be discussed in detail and it will be demonstrated how some of the phrases used, even without the intention to stigmatise, have the power to change the way an entire concept of obesity is represented and viewed.

For any enquiries please contact the Research Office by email, or by telephone on +44 (0)115 848 2301

Location details


Mary Ann Evans Building
Clifton Campus
NG11 8NS

Past event

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