Blog Archives

What to call the Other: A data-driven history of the New York Times’ racial labeling

The word negro makes me uncomfortable. I never hear it, but I occasionally read it. There’s a pretty famous book by sociolinguist Walt Wolfram (Professor of English, North Carolina State University) called A Sociolinguistic Description of Detroit Negro Speech published in 1969. Every time

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Posted in Language and race, Media discourse and media bias

Militant, radical, man-hating: How our public discourse describes feminists

When Beyoncé celebrated the word feminist on Sunday night, she was working against a history of celebrities and others rejecting the label feminist. Why do so many women, famous or not, reject the term, while seeming to support the basic

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Posted in Language and gender, Media discourse and media bias

Two tales of Gaza: Comparing FOX and CNN’s coverage of the violence

In the past month we’ve seen the unfolding of another chapter in the bloody conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. Since this conflict is, for me and probably many of my readers, taking place halfway around the world, the

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Posted in Language and politics, Media discourse and media bias

Beyond bossy: More on our gendered characterizations of leadership and authority

You may have heard that Jill Abramson the former executive editor of the New York Times, was recently fired. I’ve been living the life of an academic hermit for the past couple of weeks, so thankfully Lynne Murphy (Reader in Dept. of Linguistics, University of Sussex)

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Posted in Language and gender, Media discourse and media bias

Who is articulate?: Biased perceptions of language

A while back, I read H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman‘s excellent book Articulate While Black. The book takes an in-depth look at racialized public reaction to Barack Obama especially as a candidate for president. One phenomenon they explore is the use of the

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Posted in Language and politics, Language and race, Media discourse and media bias

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