An Exploration of Attitudes Towards Transgender People on a Q & A website

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Jeerawan Wongburi
Sompatu Vungthong


Online social question and answer (Q & A) websites have become an
important venue for individuals to seek information and voice their opinions through
questioning and answering on a broad range of topics. This study aims to explore
people’s attitudes towards transgender people on a social Q & A website based
on the ‘attitude’ system in appraisal theory. 194 sentences which include the
term ‘transgender’ or something related from the first 100 written answers to the
question “What is your opinion on transgender people?” from the Quora website
were collected as data of the study. After that, each sentence was analyzed and
categorized into each type of the attitude system. The findings of this study reveal
that people tended to have more positive attitudes towards transgender people. For
their expression of positive attitudes, the sentences in the category of ‘judgement’
were mostly used to reveal their opinions that transgender people are normal and
there is nothing wrong with being a transgender person. Negative attitudes towards
transgender people were expressed through the category of ‘appreciation’ to show
their reaction to transgender people’s negative traits.


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