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Who are we? The use of plural personal pronouns in the Love section of Cosmopolitan


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Čalogović, Katarina. (2018). Who are we? The use of plural personal pronouns in the Love section of Cosmopolitan. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Grubišić, Marina].

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Various formal and informal, fictional and non-fictional discourses within society provide people with different representations of love and romantic relationships. This thesis investigates how the US edition of Cosmopolitan, as the most popular and influential women’s magazine, represents love and relationships in recurring texts on this subject. More specifically, two recurring pieces, Manthropology and Ask Him Anything, appearing in all issues from January 2015 to December 2017, are analysed according to how plural personal pronouns are used in them. Through the analysis of the use of plural personal pronouns, I look into whether relationships are portrayed as interpersonal or intergroup interactions, if the focus is on community and cooperation between two individuals in a relationship or on misunderstanding between two individuals as members of different gender groups with different and potentially conflicting worldview and values. Both Manthropology and Ask Him Anything put the emphasis on the male perspective and its difference from the female perspective already in their titles, and as parts of the section on love and relationship these titles imply that the difference is relevant in romantic relationships. However, the analysis of how these two pieces use plural personal pronouns shows different, layered, and at times conflicting representations of relationships with respect to how important the community between partners in a relationship is and how important the community of each partner with the members of his or her gender is. While pronouns in the texts within Manthropology do indeed shape men as a uniform group with a strong sense of identity and community, a parallel notion of community is absent from the representation of women. On the other hand, although the author of the advice column Ask Him Anything is presented as providing the male perspective, his answers to the readers’ problems rarely represent them as arising from different values between men and women, and the pronouns are not used to establish different and divided gender communities and identities. Despite that, the framing discourse, present in the titles and mostly confirmed in the texts within Manthropology, is the first one the reader encounters. It represents relationships as highly intergroup relationships with misunderstanding between different gender identities as its relevant aspect, and the wide reach of the magazine indicates that these kinds of representations are significant and that they either influence or reflect the opinion of millions of Americans that keep buying the magazine.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical discourse analysis, gender, interpersonal and intergroup communication, personal pronouns, love and relationships, women’s magazines, Cosmopolitan
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Grubišić, Marina
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2018 09:53
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 09:53

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