The Great Awokening as a Global Phenomenon

by   David Rozado, et al.

Previous research has identified a post-2010 sharp increase of words used to denounce prejudice (i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, etc) in US and UK news media content. Some have referred to these institutional trends and related shifts in US public opinion about increasing perceptions of prejudice severity in society as the Great Awokening. Here, we extend previous analysis to the global media environment. Thus, we quantify the prevalence of prejudice-denouncing terms and social justice associated terminology (diversity, inclusion, equality, etc) in over 98 million news and opinion articles across 124 popular news media outlets from 36 countries representing 6 different world regions: English-speaking West, continental Europe, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Persian Gulf region and Asia. We find that increasing prominence in news media of so-called wokeness terminology is a global phenomenon starting early post-2010 in pioneering countries yet mostly worldwide ubiquitous post-2015. Still, different world regions emphasize distinct types of prejudice with varying degrees of intensity. Surprisingly, the United States news media does not appear to have been the pioneer in embedding prejudice and social justice loaded terminology in their content. We also note that state-controlled news media from Russia, China and Iran might be leveraging wokeness terminology as a geopolitical propaganda weapon to mock, destabilize or criticize Western adversaries. The large degree of temporal synchronicity with which wokeness terminology emerged in news media worldwide raises important questions about the root causes driving this phenomenon.


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