Edited by Angeliki Tzanne
[Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict 10:1] 2022
► pp. 64–84
The present study establishes what comprises the genre of venting as opposed to ranting and how venting functions within the Reddit community Fat People Stories. In this subreddit, users compose either real or fictional narratives describing encounters with people of size who are perceived to exhibit rude behavior. Given the sensitive nature of these discussions, they are often fraught with negative emotional expression, and individuals seek a variety of outlets to release these emotions and find commiseration and diversion. An analytical corpus of 45,867 words across ten posts and corresponding comment sections was gathered and analyzed using Askehave and Nielsen’s (2005) two-dimensional genre model and supplemented with discourse analysis of the individual texts. As the study explores how venting unfolds in a digitally mediated environment, insights gained can have implications for how humans sort through negative emotions in face-to-face communication, and, more specifically, for discourse surrounding public health and body weight.
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