Representation of Women: A Corpus-based Analysis of Pakistani English Newspapers
This study investigated the use of gendered lexical items and collocates with the help of corpus tools to deconstruct the patriarchal social system of Pakistan. Media frames the mind and thought process of people with its repetitive announcements. Women, being a part of the society, are also represented in news; however, matters related to them are underreported by reporters and editors, as most of the news is male-filtered. Pakistani English newspapers are among the popular sources of information dissemination across Pakistan. The local social system and male-dominated mindset influence all types of media in Pakistan. Hence, it has been observed that akin to all other fields of life, women are marginalized in Pakistani English newspapers. So, this study hypothesized that men are over represented as compared to women and news reports relevant to women are written by female writers and reporters. To test the above hypothesis, a corpus of 270 Pakistani English newspaper articles was selected from The News International, The Dawn, and Daily Times, with 90 articles from each paper. A corpus-based analysis was carried out to trace gender discrimination and gender stereotypes in Pakistani society. All collocates of women/woman and man/men were kept in view in this work. The results showed that women are represented in the news as a minority and marginalized by the male-dominated society, despite the fact that modern writers have raised their voices to support and highlight the role of women in the society. This study is a first attempt of its kind for being an amalgam of corpus-based and CDA approaches.
Keywords: corpus-driven analysis, marginalized, minority, newspapers, representation, women
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