Peter Black, Christopher Stevens, class and inequality in the Daily Mail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


This article is part of a larger study of changes in British newspaper representations of wealth inequality in the UK from 1971 to the present-day. Selected findings are reported from a corpus linguistically-based comparative critical discourse analysis of large samples (approx. 55,000 words each) of TV programme reviews that appeared in the Daily Mail, written by the TV critics Peter Black (in 1971) and Christopher Stevens (in 2013). Occurrences of class and their collocates and co-texts are a particular focus of attention. In Black’s reviews, it is a recurrent contemporary concern, and recognised as indicative of inequality of opportunity. In Stevens’s much longer stories, class has largely disappeared from the discursive agenda of contemporary Britain, and is only mentioned in relation to the past, or other countries. By 2013 it seems to have become ‘natural’ not to discuss class and present-day wealth inequality in Mail TV reviews. The part-quantitative, part-qualitative methodology adopted here suggests that the tracing of something as masked as the discursive acceptance of wealth inequality must inevitably be more piecemeal and multi-factorial than other more sharply and overtly categorized forms of discrimination (based in ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, for example).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-660
Number of pages19
JournalDiscourse and Society
Issue number6
Early online date9 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • inequality, newspaper discourse, CDA, Daily Mail , class

ASJC Scopus subject areas