Vem är Hen i Aftonbladet?
En kvantitativ studie om användningen av ordet hen i svensk dagspress mellan 2013-2015
This study will examine the occurrence of the Swedish epicene pronoun “hen” in the newspaper Aftonbladet between January 2013 and November 2015. Furthermore we want to investigate the meaning the word obtains when it is used by journalists and in what kind of journalistic subject area it occurs. The study has three questions constructed around the main purpose: 1. To what extent did the pronoun hen occur in Aftonbladet between the years 2013 to 2015? 2. What different kinds of meanings does the word obtain when it is used and to what extent are these meanings occurring? 3. In what kind of context does the word occur and to what extent? To analyze our findings, theory of sex-marking and agenda setting were used. Previous research has mainly been concentrated around 2012, during this period a widespread debate about the word’s existence in the Swedish language had started to culminate. The time span for this research is the three years following after the “hen-year” 2012 to see if the use of the word had evolve to become a part of the common Swedish language, rather than just a subject for discussion. A total of 590 occurrences of the word were analyzed in the newspaper Aftonbladet. Observations were made to see if journalists were male or female, in what journalistic genres it occurred, in what types of articles it was mostly used and if the articles were based on the journalists own opinions or not. The study showed that the occurrence of the pronoun increased during 2013 until mid-2014 when it started to decrease until the end of 2015. In relation to the complete time span it became evident that the word started out as being mainly used as a subject but later evolved to be used with is basic functions as a pronoun or a noun. The results regarding the different contexts showed that the word was more often used by men than women regarding articles based on opinion and culture/entertainment. The results give an insight in how the use of the word hen has evolved since 2012, a period that has mostly been overseen by other studies. In conclusion it is evident that the word has begun to become a part of the common Swedish language, by being used more frequently.