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Cathrine Norberg, professor of English

Published: 28 October 2019

Our language says something about how we look at the surroundings. Cathrine Norberg wants to contribute to increased gender equality and knowledge about gender by making society's norms visible in the spoken and written language.

Despite an increased knowledge of gender equality, our language shows that we have
traditional images of what it is to be a woman or a man, and that have effects on how we act. It is particularly prominent if you look at large amounts of data, which Cathrine Norberg has done in her research. She has studied millions of words from radio, television, literature and interviews. The results clearly show that men are often portrayed as subjects related to, for example, activity verbs, movement and curiosity. Women, on the other hand, are often portrayed in opposite actions, and in relation to other people. These patterns can be important, for example during an employment interview or in an application, says Cathrine Norberg. By making visible unconscious structures she want's to contribute to increased equality. Cathrine Norberg describes herself as a sociolinguist - she looks at the language to be able to say something about society, often in interdisciplinary projects. In addition to a focus on language and gender, she has studied how teaching materials in English are designed to promote ordinary learning. Her research shows that new words are rarely reused in the books, which is a basic prerequisite for learning.

Cathrine Norberg, born in 1962, grew up in Luleå but spent childhood summers in Tornedalen where she discovered her interest in language. She completed her dissertation in 2002 with a dissertation in which she examined male and female in Shakespeare's comedies. For the study, she received the Norrbotten Research Council's award for best dissertation in the Faculty of Philosophy.

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Cathrine Norberg

Norberg, Cathrine - Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor

Organisation: English, Specialization in Didactics, Education and Languages, Department of Health, Education and Technology
Phone: +46 (0)920 492189