Domestic violence and public participation in the media

The case of citizen journalism


  • Patricia Bou-Franch Universitat de València



gender, domestic violence, citizen journalism, ideology


Recent research suggests that as a social public problem, domestic violence is sustained in a number of social contexts that naturalize violence against women through gendered discourses and ideologies of male violence. This paper examines domestic violence vis-à-vis public participation in the media. In doing so, it seeks to explore the social public aspects of domestic violence and to investigate whether the gendered discourse of male violence is also sustained through the new electronic spaces of public participation. To this end, a corpus of unsolicited digital comments – a form of ‘citizen journalism’ – to a British online newspaper was compiled and analysed. This paper draws from research on gender, pragmatics and critical/computer-mediated discourse analysis. The analysis reveals that some citizen journalists resorted to abuse-sustaining discourses; these were challenged by others who questioned the gendered ideologies of male violence against women.

Author Biography

Patricia Bou-Franch, Universitat de València

Patricia Bou-Franch is Senior Lecturer at the University of Valencia, Spain. Her research interests include gender and discourse, computer-mediated communication, and cross-cultural communication. She has published in international journals like Intercultural Pragmatics, Journal of Pragmatics, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and is co-editor of Gender and Sexual Identities in Transition: International Perspectives (Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2008). She is currently co-investigator in a research project (GENTEXT) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (‘Gender and Sexual (In)equality in Contemporary Britain and Spain’).


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How to Cite

Bou-Franch, P. (2013). Domestic violence and public participation in the media: The case of citizen journalism. Gender and Language, 7(3), 275–302.