Implicit homophobic argument structure
Equal-marriage discourse in The Moral Maze
This article analyses the linguistic and discursive elements which contribute to the production of implicit homophobia. Explicit homophobia has been well documented and strategies for countering discriminatory language have been developed (Baker 2014, Leap 2012). However, our interest here is in documenting implicit homophobia, where homophobic beliefs are only hinted at, are disassociated from the speaker, or are embedded within discursive and argument structures. We decided to analyse the debate in the media around the introduction of equal or same-sex marriage legislation in the UK. We focused our analysis on a series of radio programmes on BBC Radio 4, The Moral Maze (2011–2012), where the issue of same-sex marriage was debated with a team of panelists and invited guests from a range of different organisations. Different perspectives on same-sex marriage were discussed, in a seemingly objective and dispassionate way, where the interactants distanced themselves from homophobic beliefs and yet implicitly subscribed to homophobia. We used an analysis drawing on argumentation structure (Fairclough & Fairclough 2012) and through focusing on stance, recontextualisation, imaginaries, and metaphor, we developed an analysis which made the way that implicit homophobia works more visible. In this way, we hope to foreground implicit homophobia, and develop a linguistic and discursive ‘toolkit’ which will enable it to be challenged and countered.
Keywords: same-sex marriage, imaginaries, metaphor, homophobia, argumentation, stance, recontextualisation
Published online: 30 March 2015
Baunach, Dawn Michelle
Brown, Penelope & Levinson, Stephen
2012 Marriage will ONLY remain the bedrock of society if it is between a man and a woman. Daily Mail 19 February 2012 <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2103513/Marriage-ONLY-remain-bedrock-society-man-woman.html (November 11, 2013).
Coulthard, Malcolm & Johnson, Alison
Coupland, Justine & Coupland, Nikolas
2013 ‘Out there’, BBC 2 14 October 2013 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01fttrl (March 1, 2014).
2012 Equal marriage: The government’s response. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/133262/consultation-response_1_.pdf (November 11, 2013).
Holehouse, Matthew & Deacon, Michael
2013 Godfrey Bloom ‘should resign’ after sluts jibe, says Nigel Farage. The Telegraph 20 September 2013 <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/10323774/Godfrey-Bloom-should-resign-after-sluts-jibe-says-Nigel-Farage.html (January 21, 2014).
2004 Language and homophobic discourse. Paper presented at the Eleventh Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference, February 2004, American University, Washington, DC.
Moscowitz, Leigh M.
2012 We cannot afford to indulge this madness. The Telegraph 3 March 2012 <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9121424/We-cannot-afford-to-indulge-this-madness.html (November 11, 2013).
Pascoe, Cheri Jo
The Moral Maze: Gay Marriage
2012 BBC Radio 4. 14 March, 20:00. Broadcast available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qk11 (February 1, 2014).
The Moral Maze: The Moral Virtue of Marriage
2013 BBC Radio 4. 6 February, 20:00. Broadcast available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qk11 (February 1, 2014).
The Moral Maze: The Moral Worth of Marriage
2011 BBC Radio 4. 16 February, 20:00. Broadcast available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qk11 (February 1, 2014).
van Gend, David
2004 Re-entering the circle of life, gays, ex-gays, and marriage (Address to the National Marriage Forum, August 4th 2004, Parliament House, Canberra). http://www.marriage.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=15re_entering_the_circle_of_life.htm (December 13, 2013).
Cited by 11 other publications
Findlay, Jamie Y.
Jones, Lucy & Luke Collins
Paterson, Laura L. & Laura Coffey-Glover
Paterson, Laura L. & Georgina Turner
Turner, Georgina, Sara Mills, Isabelle van der Bom, Laura Coffey-Glover, Laura L Paterson & Lucy Jones
Vilanova, Anna, Susanna Soler & Eric Anderson
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 18 august 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.