Gender and Culture in Newspaper Column Writing : A Quantitative Study of Male/Female and UK/US Differences in Pronoun Use

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Engelska institutionen


This study examines differences between male and female as well as UK and US authors in newspaper text, specifically column writing. Many studies have shown that women have a tendency to show greater involvement in text by using personal and subjective reference. The present study applied corpus linguistic methods to 145 columns retrieved from two broadsheet newspapers, The Guardian and The New York Times. The usage of first person singular and plural pronouns was examined to determine whether there are gender-based or cultural differences in the way the authors show involvement in the texts. The data show no significant differences between male and female or UK and US authors. The uneven gender distribution of the sampling, conventions of journalism and column writing as well as women’s adaptation to the communication style of public sphere may be some of the reasons for the non-significant differences between the studied dimensions.

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