Words of change : the increase of gender-inclusive language in German media
European sociological review, 2023, OnlineFirst
WALDENDORF, Anica, Words of change : the increase of gender-inclusive language in German media, European sociological review, 2023, OnlineFirst - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75887
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Everyday observations seem to indicate an increase in gender-inclusive language (GIL) in Germany; however, previous research on the prevalence of GIL suggests that it is a marginal phenomenon. Moreover, from a theoretical side, an increase in GIL seems unlikely because of the cognitive challenge language change holds, the existence of multiple GIL variants, and the antagonistic environment that Germany poses for language change. This study empirically measures the use of GIL in five media sources in Germany. Over four million articles from 2000 to 2021 are analysed using the IDS Deutscher Referenzkorpus (DeReKo), supplemented by an in-depth analysis of 500 newspaper articles scraped in 2021. A fine-grained analysis along the dimensions of political orientation of the outlet, type of GIL, and author’s gender is conducted. In addition to observing an unexpectedly rapid increase in GIL, two different trends are identified: whilst non-binary inclusive forms of GIL are increasingly used in the left-leaning newspaper, GIL that adheres to a binary notion of gender is favoured in the mainstream and right-leaning media. This sheds light on how difficult behavioural change can occur.
Published online: 16 September 2023
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75887
Full-text via DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcad044
ISSN: 0266-7215; 1468-2672
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sponsorship and Funder information:
This article was published with the support from the EUI Article Processing Charges (APCs) fund.
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