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The GENTEXT Research Group

GENTEXT is a research group based at the University of Valencia working on the critical analysis of the discursive representation(s) of social inequalities in written digital media.

The aim of our research is to document and analyze the concepts, the discursive processes, the ideological tensions, and the semantic and pragmatic negotiation as a result of recent legal measures or news events. We believe that the best site to investigate such phenomena is what we have called socio-ideological texts (i.e. those texts – such as newspaper articles, religious or institutional texts – which, due to their ubiquity and influence, help to shape citizens’ discourses, ideological attitudes and rhetorical frameworks in today’s democratic societies.

For this we have compiled a range of highly specialized, comparable and parallel corpora on a variety of topics related to gender, social inequality and politics (e.g. violence against women, homosexuality and abortion).

The GENTEXT corpus comprises one large-scale corpus on written media discourse (GENTEXT-N) and two smaller citizen corpora on virtual forums (GENTEXT-W) and the Internet (GENTEXT-I). These corpora are characterized as comparable (Spanish-English) and ad hoc (the retrieval of documents has been based on a prior designation of some over-arching search terms: gender violence, homosexual/gay and abortion (in both languages).

The latter corpora are currently under construction and they include the comments and responses of participants to videos, magazine articles, news, advertisements, etc. on social media and the Internet on gender and social inequality.

As regards the largest corpus (GENTEXT-N), some of its main features are:

  • It contains ca. 40-million word, comparable- highly specialized corpus made up of newspaper articles from Spanish and British dailies embodying liberal vs. conservative ideological positions (2005-2014, although published research includes only 2005-2010).
  • It gathers articles from El País, El Mundo, The Guardian and The Times: These quality dailies have become important references not only for the population at large but also for politicians or legislators, and have become thus powerful sources of social definition(s).
  • Our research centres on the analysis of key terms and concepts such as gender-based violence, homosexual/homosexuality, gay and abortion.
  • These stand as indicators of discursive and rhetorical strategies, from naming strategies to argumentation, from predication to discursive construction of key gendered or sexualised terms/concepts used to construct ideologies and mould opinions.

Specifically, we focus on:

  • Conducting in-depth analyses of the above mentioned corpora from a CDA perspective, thus contributing to current research and discussion of these socially-sensitive issues.
  • The creation of a pragmatic-discursive dictionary (in Spanish) covering the most relevant terms – in relation to social inequality, gender and political/ideological aspects – that are significant in our corpora.
  • The design of educational materials, with special emphasis on university teaching and on cross-curricular content.

Potential beneficiaries of this work include: the university community (researchers, teachers and learners), the mass media, the general public, politicians, experts in gender and social inequality issues, institutional bodies.

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