Name: Tara Coltman-Patel
Thesis Title: Weight Stigma in Britain: The Linguistic Representation of Obesity in Newspapers
My thesis explored the representation of obesity and individuals with obesity in British national newspapers from 2006 - 2016. My data set was comprised of 16,419 articles and 9,750,159 words. The overarching aims of my research were:
(i) Identify the key and prevalent linguistic patterns and messages surrounding obesity in British newspapers.
(ii) Investigate how individuals with obesity are conceptualised within these linguistic patterns and messages.
(iii) Explore the extent to which the linguistic patterns and messages under analysis perpetuate weight bias and stigmatising attitudes.
Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, within the thesis I investigate how metaphorical conceptualisations of obesity are dehumanising and incite socially divisive ideologies, I analyse how scientific information is recontextualised and situated within the media narrative and I compare how the individuals at the core of the issue, people with obesity, represent themselves in personal stories.
Supervisors and Institution(s):
Dr Natalie Braber - Nottingham Trent University
Dr David Wright - Nottingham Trent University
Dr Judy Swift - University of Nottingham
- 2019 AHRC Midlands 4 Cities Cultural Engagement Award.
- 2016 Nottingham Trent University Three Minute Thesis Challenge.
- Nottingham Trent University 2015 Arts and Humanities Master’s Prize for Outstanding Achievement.
Public Speaking Engagements and Conference Presentations:
- Self-Doubt, Impostor Syndrome and Guilt: A Day in the Life of an Academic - Presented at NTU's first series of Linguistics seminars - September 2019.
- Reproducing Scientific Discourse in Media Discourse: Turning Obesity Fact into Obesity Fiction - Paper presented at the International Corpus Linguistics Conference - July 2019.
- The Metaphorical Representation of Weight in the Media - Paper presented at the 6th International Weight Stigma Conference at Leeds Beckett University - June 2018.
- The Terrifying Tale of Obesity: Analysing the Media’s Power of Persuasion and Influence - Paper presented at the Nottingham Trent Post Graduate Arts and Humanities Work in Progress seminar - November 2017.
- The Terrifying Tale of Obesity: Analysing the Media’s Power of Persuasion and Influence - Paper presented at the BAAL Health & Science Communication SIG workshop at Lancaster University - November 2017.
- The Terrifying Tale of Obesity: Analysing the Media’s Power of Persuasion and Influence - A session given at Nottingham Trent University to year 13’s from Rushcliffe and Arnold High School - September 2017.
- Weight Stigmas in Britain: The Linguistic Representation of Obesity in Newspapers - Nottingham Trent College Conference – July 2017.
- The Linguistic Representation of Obesity in British Press - Nottingham Trent University Three Minute Thesis Challenge – December 2016.
- Creating and Maintaining Identities in Political Discourse - Poster presentation at the Corpus Linguistics Beyond Boundaries Symposium, University of Nottingham - July 2015.
- Weight Stigma in the Media: The Current Use of Imagery and Language in the Media. October 2018. A report co-authored with Hannah Brinsden from The World Obesity Federation and an academic named Kate Sievert for the World Obesity Day 2018 campaign to End Weight Stigma. https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/43c091_9b48437d657343c595c3acfe10173c9d.pdf
- Weight Stigma: Five Unspoken Truths. The Conversation. October 2018. https://theconversation.com/weight-stigma-five-unspoken-truths-104074
- How Everyday Language Casually Stigmatises Obesity. The Conversation. September 2017. https://theconversation.com/how-everyday-language-casually-stigmatises-obesity-and-what-to-do-about-it-83860
- The Immeasurable Power of Words: Weight Stigmas within Society – Blog post for World Obesity, December 2016. http://www.worldobesity.org/news/wo-blog/january-2017/weight-stigmas-within-society/
Other Research Interests:
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University email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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