Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 14 (1):69-92 (2018)

Abstract
This paper reports on a manual monitoring of online representations of LGBT persons in the Republic of Cyprus for the period April 2015–February 2016. The article contextualizes the prevalence of “hate speech” in online Greek Cypriot comments against LGBT individuals, and, more generally, against non-heterosexuals. Adopting a Foucauldian position vis-à-vis the social and discursive construction of sexuality, we outline, first, the socio-historical context with a focus on LGBT rights in the Republic of Cyprus and the nationalistic project construing sexualities. We then examine the different levels of discursive discrimination practices, providing a snapshot of the types of “hate speech” referring to this topic typically found in such an environment. The focus is on identification of the frames used to construct LGBT identities, and their perception.We use in our title the word subject as defined by post-modernists and by Butler in particular : subject refers to “a socially produced ‘agent’ and ‘deliberator’ whose agency and thought is made possible by a language that precedes that ‘I’. In this sense the ‘I’ is produced through power ”. This paper focuses on the socially produced definition of the LGBT community in the context under study. We thus address the way in which sexuality is constructed within a compulsory and hegemonic heterosexuality and heteronormativity. We analyze our data i.e. comments focused on the LGBT community, with corpus linguistic tools as well as through a qualitative examination of the identified frames. Our analysis confirms an interface between nationalism and compulsory hegemonic heteronormativity in the Republic as well as the influence of the Orthodox Church and its beliefs.
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DOI 10.1515/lpp-2018-0004
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