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Magdalena Budziszewska

Semantic Field Analysis in the Study of Parent-Child Relationships

This article discusses the applicability of semantic field analysis to the study of development and change in important interpersonal relations on the example of parent-child relationships. The narrative material was compiled from responses of 348 teenagers and young adults aged 13-30 years. Participants wrote about their parents ("Tell me about your parents"). On the basis of the context, semantic fields were generated for the high-incidence phrase "to love one's parents", which is the primary model of conceptualizing the parent-child relationship in our culture. The results demonstrate the material complexity of the "love for parents" semantic field in the study group, and reveal the associative network of other semantic relations involving this concept. They also confirm the hypotheses on subtle developmental changes in the understanding of "love for parents" between early adolescence and adulthood. The study presents the application of methods based on linguistic analysis of language to the analysis of developmental changes in important personal relationships.

Open access

Antonina Starzyńska and Magdalena Budziszewska


One of the premises of developmental psycholinguistics is that we live our life according to certain narratives that are learned through language and media. These narratives teach children to express emotions and to attribute actions in a variety of life situations; they construct the way in which the threatening feelings such as anger, injustice, or the urge of vengeance are experienced. In this paper, we present a critical analysis of the gendered discourse in popular American cinema, based on the plot analysis of 60 films featuring male or female protagonist seeking revenge. We use critical discourse analysis to decipher the patterns of the gender roles, behaviors, and emotions, which these movies intent to force upon the viewer. As the psychological research does not clearly testify to gender differences in the experience and expression of the trait anger, we would like to argue that it is a matter of the socially moderated narrative patterns, rather than inborn tendencies, that urges boys and girls to play such different roles in those situations as well as experience them in distinct ways. Our most crucial conclusion is that Western societies have developed the narrative-based mechanisms which later helped to successfully discourage women from expressing anger in the form of physical aggression, under the threat of being left out of the discourses of femininity and, in some cases, humanity.