Science Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
November 2015, Volume 2015, ISSN:2276-6359
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Thug Breaks Man's Jaw: A Corpus Analysis of Responses to Interpersonal Street Violence
St. John's University,Department of Applied English, 499 Tam King Road, Tamsui, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Accepted on October 19, 2015; Available Online 16 November,2015
This paper examines a corpus of online responses to an article in an online edition of the British tabloid newspaper The Sun describing an act of interpersonal street violence between two men. The article produced 190 responses from readers, which were collected and compiled into a corpus that contained 6,606 tokens. Employing a corpusdriven approach, the data was investigated by undertaking concordance analyses of keywords and collocates of those words. The data was further analysed by taking into consideration multimodal information such as user names and avatar images in order to examine the significance of stating gender in correlation with views expressed. The findings indicate that regardless of the negative depiction of the aggressor in the article, the assailant and his actions were defended by certain posters, and at times admired and praised, while the victim was criticised for his lack of fighting skills, and not considered as innocent. However, the data also revealed that other respondents rejected such violence, demonstrating a continuum of reactions among the tabloid readership who responded to the article. The study found a marked difference of stances between those who stated that they were male to those who did not. The paper concludes by discussing the hypothesis that masculine identity and specifically hegemonic masculinity is constructed from multiple identities. Furthermore, the importance of investigating and analysing online peer groups is emphasised as an invaluable source in comprehending aspects of social behaviour within contemporary society.
Keywords:masculinities; interpersonal violence; corpus; discourse; online peer groups