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Patterns of Attribution in Sex Education Books for British Teenagers, 1950-2014 (Lee Oakley)

Date: 20 November 2013 Time: 14.00-15.30

Venue: Bowland North Seminar Room 14

In this talk I will discuss how attributions (propositions belonging to somebody other than the author) are deployed throughout a corpus of 81 sex education book chapters on sexuality for British teenagers, representing the years 1950-2014. I show how a very wide range of voices are drawn upon to perform a number of different pragmatic functions: functions which are variably endorsed, acknowledged or distanced by the authors over this time period. Ultimately I address the following research questions:

(1) Why are other voices introduced into these book chapters?

(2) Who are these other voices, and what are they saying/thinking?

(3) Are these voices endorsed, acknowledged, or distanced by the authors?

(4) With regards to (1)-(3), are there any significant changes or similarities over the time period under investigation (1950-2014)?

By addressing these research questions it is hoped that I can provide a tentative first glimpse at how commercial non-fiction sex education books aimed at British teenagers have constructed various sexualities and sexual social actors over the last 65 years.

Keywords: attribution, ENGAGEMENT analysis, diachronic representation of social actors, diachronic representation of sexualities

Lee Oakley, University of Birmingham


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language, Research in Language, Gender and Sexuality


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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