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For a Bottom-Up Approach to the Linguistic and Legal Definition of Hate Speech

A Case Study of Offences Against Women

Francesca Ferrucci    Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italia



In addressing the legal definition of Hate Speech (HS), some important linguistic issues arise: the necessity of semantic precision of normative texts conflicts with the difficulty of tracing distinctive features of the phenomenon; the balancing with freedom of expression poses the question on the boundaries between opinions and verbal violence. Comparative studies on national laws show significant gaps in definitions, highlighting their negative effects. This paper discusses the problem analysing a corpus of 2,720 Facebook negative comments against women with decisional positions in Europe. Recurring textual strategies are identified testing a bottom-up approach, argued as the appropriate method to meet the current research challenges.

keywords: Hate Speech. Woman. Recipient. EU Legislation. Freedom of speech. CMC. Text Analysis.

Language: en

Published: Dec. 29, 2020
permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/978-88-6969-478-3/010

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License