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How in which is the Brett Kavanaugh rape case discussed and reported throughout the media- a critical discourse analysis

Amos, Holly (2019) How in which is the Brett Kavanaugh rape case discussed and reported throughout the media- a critical discourse analysis. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This research aims to investigate how language used throughout tweets and news reporting, regarding the Brett Kavanaugh rape case, can influence the social construction of rape. Tweets from verified users and online news reporting were used. A critical discourse analysis was conducted on the data to reveal 3 prominent themes: Us vs Them, Mockery and Disbelief and Reclaiming of Power. All three themes contained elements of power imbalance and rape myths, yet with the final theme these were used for deconstruction. The first two themes contribute heavily to the negative perception of rape victims and societies’ common ideology however, this is contrasted with the deconstruction effect of the third theme. This shows how the media can be used to achieve alternative outcomes. The use of language in a negative manner contributes to rape culture, the negative perception and treatment of victims, and lack of reports and convictions. However, language can also be used to deconstruct these ideologies and power imbalance to empower victims to step forward and report.

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