“Misery Business?”: The Contribution of Corpus-Driven Critical Discourse Analysis to Understanding Gender-Variant Twitter Users’ Experiences of Employment

  • Lexi Webster Lancaster University / Manchester Metropolitan University
Keywords: gender variant, corups linguistics, Twitter, employment, sociocognitive discourse analysis


This contribution is a corpus-based analysis of gender-variant discourse on Twitter, exploring users’ strategies for organizing their experience and understanding of employment. The data are two specialized corpora: (1) the biographies of each of 2,881 self-identifying gender-variant users; (2) c.4,000,000 tweets posted by those users. The corpora are analyzed using a sociocognitive approach to discourse analysis (Van Dijk, 2009, 2015, 2017). The biographies are used to determine the demographic make-up of the sample. An analysis of the corpus of users’ tweets will explore, and attempt to explain, the activated discourses around aspects of employment (i.e. representations of the self-as-employee, co-worker relationships, employers, and experiences in employment). In considering the contribution linguistics can make in understanding gender-variant people’s experiences of employment, the focus of this research is three-fold: (1) I consider the role of gender-variant users’ cognitive organization of employment experience in either perpetuating or challenging marginalization in the workplace; (2) I consider the validity and reliability of a corpus-driven analysis in comparison to the credibility and validity of previous studies on the employment experiences of gender-variant people; (3) I consider the logical and ethical implications of considering only the roles of employers, policymakers, and co-workers in remedying marginalization in the workplace.


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How to Cite
Webster, L. (2018). “Misery Business?”: The Contribution of Corpus-Driven Critical Discourse Analysis to Understanding Gender-Variant Twitter Users’ Experiences of Employment. PuntOorg International Journal, 3(1/2), 25-50. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.19245/25.05.pij.3.1/2.03