This is the blog for the Discourses of Marriage research group. We are a sub-group of the North and Midlands Language and Gender Research Group, and are based at a number of universities across England. We are: Laura Coffey (Huddersfield), Lucy Jones (Hull), Sara Mills (Sheffield Hallam), Laura Paterson (Leeds) and Isabelle van der Bom (Sheffield).
We're particularly interested in the media discussion and debate surrounding the UK government's current proposals to change the civil marriage laws to include same-sex couples. At the moment, 'civil partnerships' exist for same-sex couples. Heterosexual couples may not have a civil partnership and, crucially, same-sex couples may not have a 'marriage'. The two partnerships are equal in most legal senses, yet remain distinct from one another. There is considerable debate at the moment around whether marriage should be available for same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples, and we are interested in discovering how the language used within these debates positions gay and lesbian relationships in contrast to heterosexual ones.
In this blog, we will post about the approach we're taking towards the analysis of discourses which surround the issue of marriage equality. We hope that this blog will be of use to other linguists and academic researchers, but also to anybody who is interested in how the debate is unfolding and how the language used in the media and by social commentators is impacting on how gay and lesbian people are being represented.