Corpus-Based Analysis of the Feminine Style of Kamala Harris' Discourse: Women (Not Men) Are the Backbone of America's Democracy and Economy
Keywords:corpus analysis, discourse analysis, Kamala Harris, the feminine style
Few studies analyzed the political discourse of the American Vice President Kamala Harris, especially during the presidential elections and her position as the American Vice President. This paper investigates the political discourse of Harris in a corpus-based study of 40 speeches (82,268) words, from 13 October, 2020 to 10 May, 2022. It examines whether Harris' speeches draw on "the feminine style" of political speeches as envisaged by Campbell (1989), Dow and Tonn (1993), and Blankenship and Robson (1995). Qualitative and quantitative analysis will be used. The quantitative analysis will use the Antconc Software to investigate the frequency of certain lexical items related to females such as woman, women, female(s), girl(s), lady, ladies, mother(s), and mom(s), inter alia. Moreover, the frequency of the first-person and third-person pronouns I, we are investigated to examine whether Harris shares her life experience and inspect whether she uses inclusive language. The qualitative and quantitative analysis shows that the political discourse of the Vice President draws on the feminine style of political speeches, such as constructing a political stance based on genuine experience, dedication to addressing women's issues in the political arena, promoting inclusiveness and realizing that actual achievements are required for leadership positions and highlighting that in her political discourse, which is in line with the observations of Campbell (1989), Dow and Tonn (1993), and Blankenship and Robson (1995).
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