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Title:The Transformation of Gender in English-Language Fiction
Author(s):Underwood, Ted; Bamman, David; Lee, Sabrina
Subject(s):literary history
fiction
gender
authorship
characterization
stereotypes
machine learning
cultural analytics
digital humanities
Abstract:Over the last 170 years, the roles of masculine and feminine characters have become less sharply distinct. In the middle of the nineteenth century, it is relatively easy to identify a character's grammatical gender, just by looking at their actions and attributes in the story; it becomes steadily more difficult as we move toward the present. But the diminishing power of stereotypes, interestingly, does not parallel progress toward equality of representation. On the contrary, from 1850 to 1950, women lose almost half the space they had occupied in fiction. Attention is distributed less equally, even though roles are becoming more flexible. This presents literary historians with a striking paradox; a few potential explanations are considered. Data and code supporting this argument are available at https://github.com/tedunderwood/character, and also archived more permanently in the Cultural Analytics Dataverse.
Issue Date:2018-02-02
Citation Info:Ted Underwood, David Bamman, and Sabrina Lee, "The Transformation of Gender in English-Language Fiction," preprint for Cultural Analytics, February 2, 2018.
Genre:Article
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/99015
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-02-02


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