Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Great Awokening as a Global Phenomenon

The striking synchronicity with which Great Awokening terminology increased in news media worldwide

I have documented previously 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 trends and related shifts in US public opinion about increasing perceptions of prejudice severity in society as the Great Awokening or wokeness.



In a recent Preprint, I extend previous analyses to the global media environment. To do so, I 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.

Summary of results

Results show that increasing prominence in news media of so-called Great Awokening terminology is a global phenomenon starting early post-2010 in pioneering countries yet mostly worldwide ubiquitous post-2015. Note that the frequency of each prejudice-denoting term in the figure below has been normalized using min-max feature scaling to the range 0-1. This is done to neutralize differences in frequency ranges for different terms and thus obtain an overall estimate of when the aggregate set of terms signifying prejudice is being used, on average, at minimum, medium and maximum prevalence.

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