School of English

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Melissa Yoong

Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics; Faculty Representative on the People, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Director of Research; Director of Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Social Sciences



I conduct research in the area of language, gender and sexuality, with a particular focus on gendered discourses of paid work and family care. I have spoken on issues of gender equality for public, institutional and academic audiences. In addition to being the Director of Research and Director of Teaching and Learning for the School of English, I am a member of UNM's People and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee and an affiliate with the Linguistic Profiling for Professionals (LiPP) business unit based in the School of English, UK. I hold a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Nottingham, UK.

Expertise Summary

Language, gender and sexuality; Critical discourse analysis; Conversation analysis; Critical stylistics; Media discourse; Gender, work and care; Postfeminism; Neoliberalism

Teaching Summary

Undergraduate modules

ENGL1036 Introduction to Linguistics

ENGL2032 Discourse and Society

ENGL2049 Language, Gender and Sexuality

Postgraduate modules

ENGL4292 Approaches to Language and Linguistics

ENGL4311 Language, Gender and Sexuality

Recent Publications

Past Research

Please click on the 'Publications' tab above for details of my monograph, journal articles and book chapters.

Keynotes and Conference Presentations:

YOONG, M. 2022. Rehabilitating the Language of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Malaysia's Women's Empowerment Discourse. Invited plenary paper presented at 1st Asia Pacific Conference on Language and Gender, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

YOONG, M. 2021. Bodily Autonomy: The Role of Media in Promoting Gender Equality in Malaysia. Keynote presented at the Malaysia Women & Girls Forum 2021, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

YOONG, M., 2021. Rethinking Women's Empowerment Through Global Householding: A Critical Analysis of Interpellations and Absences in Online Discourse. Plenary paper presented at 11th International Gender and Language Association Conference, Queen Mary University of London, UK.

YOONG, M., 2019. The Discursive Legitimation of the Political Gender Gap in Twitter Debates. Keynote presented at 12th British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Language, Gender and Sexuality SIG Event, Birmingham City University, UK.

YOONG, M., 2018. "China Dolls", Madonna Wives, and Vanishing Husbands: Media-mediated Identities of Malaysia's Chinese Diaspora and Economic Migrants. At: 10th International Gender and Language Association Conference, University of Botswana, Botswana.

YOONG, M., 2017. Women, Work, and Having It All: Professional Discourses and Identities in Malaysian Media. Paper presented at 6th University of Malaya Discourse and Society International Conference, University of Malaya, Malaysia.

YOONG, M., 2016. "Create Opportunities for Yourself!": Neoliberal Postfeminism in a Malaysian Women's Magazine. Paper presented at 9th International Gender and Language Association Conference, City University, Hong Kong.

YOONG, M., 2014. The Air Hostess and the Chairman: Developing Learner Awareness of Politically Incorrect Language in Newspapers in Education. Paper presented at 12th International Asia TEFL Conference, Kuching, Malaysia.

YOONG, M., 2013. Sexism on UNMC Students' Facebook "Confessions" Page. Paper presented at Ms Education: Women, Equality and Education in the 21st century, University of Nottingham, UK.

Short Pieces:

YOONG, M., 2018. No more 'leaning in' - the neoliberal myth of the superhero businesswoman holds us all back. The Conversation. Available at:

YOONG, M., 2014. Pull up a chair, we need to talk about sexist language at work. The Conversation. Available at:

Media Interviews:

CALLAHAN, J., MAVIN, S., and YOONG, M., 2022. HRD & Gender. Human Resource Development Masterclass. Available at:

FARID, A., 2022. Enforcing 'proper' use of Bahasa Malaysia with penalties 'unfortunate', say linguists. The Malaysian Insight. Available at:

BAILEY, L. and YOONG, M., 2016. Gender in the Workplace. BFM. Available at:

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