Citizen sociolinguistics: A new method to understand fat talk

Gina Agostini, Cindi SturtzSreetharan, Amber Wutich, Deborah Williams, Alexandra Slade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Fat talk and citizen science Fat talk is a spontaneous verbal interaction in which interlocutors make self-disparaging comments about the body, usually as a request for assessment. Fat talk often reflects concerns about the self that stem from broader sociocultural factors. It is therefore an important target for sociocultural linguistics. However, real-time studies of fat talk are uncommon due to the resource and time burdens required to capture these fleeting utterances. This limits the scope of data produced using standard sociolinguistic methods. Citizen science may alleviate these burdens by producing a scale of social observation not afforded via traditional methods. Here we present a proof-of-concept for a novel methodology, citizen sociolinguistics. This research approach involves collaborations with citizen researchers to capture forms of conversational data that are typically inaccessible, including fat talk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0217618
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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