Representations of Gay Men in the Dialogue of Will & Grace: A Corpus Driven Analysis and Social Discussion

By analyzing frequencies and collocates of character-divided subcorpora, this quantitative study describes the corpus-linguistic representation of gay men in Will & Grace. Results derived from these linguistic representations were used to provide evidence for or against proposed sociological theories on the subject.

Will & Grace provides, not a single-dimensional, positive, and socially progressive depiction of gay men, but a multifaceted portrayal that includes, whether intentionally or not, linguistic inequalities that depict homosexuality as not fully accepted or even acceptable. By placing these corpus-linguistic findings in conversation with the sociological studies mentioned, it becomes clearer that Will & Grace was hindered by the writers’ social perceptions about the audience it successfully attracted, in spite of being called a gay sitcom.  (Download the Paper)

João’s Role: Author