Towards a model of group-based cyberbullying : combining verbal aggression and manipulation approaches with perception data to investigate the portrayal of transgender people in seven newspaper articles
This article proposes a two-step analysis of group-based cyberbullying that combines a) features of verbal aggression (incl. impoliteness components and speech acts) and manipulation analysis, and b) an analysis of the targeted group’s perception and evaluation of the investigated texts. The group focused on in this cases study are transgender people. In comparison to other LGBTIQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, asexual) groups, transgender issues and the portrayal of transgender people have been rarely focused on in linguistic studies. The analysis of seven articles published in British mainstream media between 2001 and 2015 by two authors, shows that they employed a wide variety of pragmatic and manipulation strategies to influence the opinion of the public on trans people and to cause offence to transgender individuals. The analysis of reactions to one of these articles by members of a transgender charity will show the impact these verbal aggression and manipulation strategies had on targeted individuals.