Leigh Harrington at LEL seminar

Posted on November 28, 2022 by

This week’s seminar speaker will be LEL’s newest colleague, Leigh Harrington. She will speak to us about her research on language and power, social justice, debt and poverty (see abstract below). The talk will take place in Simon Building 1.34, on 29/11/2022 at 4.20pm. All are welcome!

Heat or eat? Public discourses of food and fuel poverty from 2017-present day 

Leigh Harrington 

University of Manchester 

In this paper, I introduce two pilot studies which explore the representation of food poverty and fuel poverty in UK newspapers between 2017-2022. Using a 2.1 million word corpus (FoodPov. Corpus), divided into Pre- and Since-COVID subcorpora, I will focus on the construction of two of the main actors in food poverty during this period, namely the UK government and those experiencing food poverty themselves. Using tools from corpus-assisted discourse analysis, especially collocation, I will illustrate how overall food poverty is framed as being a result of government inaction and is, subsequently, something that ordinary people are pulled into. 

The paper also looks ahead to the upcoming equivalent project on fuel poverty, by reporting early findings on the intersections between food poverty and other forms of poverty in the FoodPov. Corpus. The findings demonstrate both explicit references to other forms of poverty in the data, as well as evidence of more subtle linguistic coding.