Breaking the gender stereotypes in public communication: Normalizing obscenities in digital media


  • Celllyne Anudo Department of Languages, Literature and Communication, University of Kabianga, Kenya
  • Benard Kodak Department of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, Maasai Mara University, Kenya
  • Jack Ogembo Department of Languages, Literature and Communication, University of Kabianga, Kenya


communication, gender, obscenities, politics, society


This paper presents a Computer Mediated Discourse Analysis of unconventional language use in social media. It is clear that both males and females make deliberate choices in language use. Speakers use obscenities in their speech for the purposes of creating humour thus arousing the interest of their audience. The use of swear words has become a symbol of acceptance and inclusiveness. Strong language not only creates attention, but also brings to perspective pivotal issues that affect the society in one way or another. The modern society is going through a drastic social transformation in language use whereby the use of previously unaccepted taboo language is liberally used in social media. This is spawned by digital media which allows people to freely float what was otherwise considered taboo in the pulic sphere. The politicalspace in Kenya is one such area where strong language is liberally used.


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