1st Edition

Approaches to Discourses of Marriage

Edited By Laura L. Paterson, Georgina Turner Copyright 2024

    How do people talk about marriage? Who gets to do the talking? When, why, where and how do these things change?

    From the experiences of women forced to marry as children to those of older women who never married, from investigations of cross-border marriage applications to Christian pastors’ sermons on divorce, from oppositional media discussions of same-sex marriage to pro-marriage equality protest signs: this collection presents research from across the globe addressing the often shifting, context-specific ways that we talk about marriage.

    Developed from the work of the UK-based Discourses of Marriage Research Group and a two-day conference drawing together scholars interested in talk of marriage and related topics, this interdisciplinary volume brings together linguists, psychologists, and film makers and draws on data from the UK, Germany, Taiwan, the US, Belgium, and Turkey. It is intended both as a survey of some contemporary trends in research on marriage and as a foundation for further research.

    The chapters in this book, except for chapters 1 and 7, were originally published as a special issue of the journal Critical Discourse Studies. This volume comes with a new introduction. 

    Introduction—Power, protests, and politics: the discursive construction of marriage
    Laura L. Paterson and Georgina Everett

    1. Implicit homophobic argument structure: Equal-marriage discourse in The Moral Maze
    Isabelle van der Bom, Laura Coffey-Glover, Lucy Jones, Sara Mills, and Laura L. Paterson

    2. Marriage for all (‘Ehe fuer alle’)?! A corpus-assisted discourse analysis of the marriage equality debate in Germany
    Ursula Kania

    3. ‘Waiting for my red envelope’: discourses of sameness in the linguistic landscape of a marriage equality demonstration in Taiwan
    Eric K. Ku

    4. Legal-discursive constructions of genuine cross-border love in Belgian marriage fraud investigations
    Mieke Vandenbroucke

    5. The discourse of divorce in conservative Christian sermons
    Valerie Hobbs

    6. Turning that shawl into a cape: older never married women in their own words – the ‘Spinsters’, the ‘Singletons’, and the ‘Superheroes’
    Sergio A. Silverio and Laura K. Soulsby

    7. Opposition as victimhood in newspaper debates about same-sex marriage.
    Georgina Everett (Turner), Sara Mills, Isabelle van der Bom, Laura Coffey-Glover, Laura L. Paterson and Lucy Jones

    8. Growing Up Married (2016): representing forced marriage on screen
    Eylem Atakav


    Laura L. Paterson is Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and English Language at The Open University, UK. She is a corpus-based discourse analyst who specialises in analysing the representation of marginalised groups. She has published work on UK poverty, benefits receipt, and marriage, and is editing the Routledge Handbook of Pronouns.

    Georgina Turner was previously Senior Lecturer in Media at the University of Liverpool. Her work is primarily qualitative with a focus on LGBT+ and specifically lesbian representation and its audiences. She has published critical analyses and histories of queer magazines, explorations of Sapphic fandom, and media debates about same-sex marriage. She is now a researcher in the third sector.