2024 Student Research Conference:
37th Annual Student Research Conference

The Sociopragmatics of Insults and Arguments on Reality Television's Big Brother (US)

Shelby Manes
Dr. Douglas Ball, Faculty Mentor

Insults have been studied through a gender-based lens. In past studies, men have been shown to instigate and respond to insults in an aggressive manner. Women, on the other hand, do not have a consistent response to aggression and insults; some avoid outward aggression while others embrace it. This study examines four verbal arguments on various seasons of reality TV’s Big Brother (US) in order to test the validity of these claims and to further explore the nature of insults through a sociopragmatic lens. This study found that men were indeed more likely to be aggressive in speech and often used more insulting language, utilizing a broad range of insult categories. Women, on the other hand, used less insulting language compared to men, but they were on the receiving end of insulting language around 50% of the time. 


Keywords: insults, sociopragmatics, gender, reality TV

Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 204-2
Location: SUB Georgian Room C
Time: 10:30

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