Negotiating the language of gender and sexuality: A case study of educational materials from Cambodia

Benedict J. L. Rowlett*, Putsalun Chhim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This case study focuses on the educational materials created by an NGO drop-in centre for the queer/questioning community in a Cambodian city. These materials consist of bilingual posters (English and Khmer) on display at the centre which provide explanations to those who make use of this space about diverse gender/sexual identities (LGBTQ+), as well as online resources featured on the NGO’s website/social media that raise awareness of these issues at both local and global levels. The study seeks to gain critical insight into the use of certain linguistic resources for sexuality education at this site of instruction. To do so, we present a multimodal discourse analysis of a sample of the materials, together with an analysis of metapragmatic reflections drawn from interviews conducted with the centre’s director. We therefore attend to how multilingual linguistic resources, and other semiotic forms, are being used to foster and shape knowledges about gender and sexualities at this site of community engagement, and how a metapragmatic negotiation of these knowledges in the interview reveals identity work that impacts these linguistic choices and their potential effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-136
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Issue number2
Early online date28 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Communication
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cambodia
  • NGO
  • gender and sexuality education
  • identity
  • instructional material
  • instructional materials
  • multimodal discourse analysis
  • metapragmatic reflection


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