Debbie Orpin joined the University of Wolverhampton’s Department of English in 1998, where she lectures in English Language and Linguistics. Her areas of expertise are corpus linguistics and discourse analysis. She has published on the topic of using corpus linguistic methods to inform and enhance the practice of discourse analysis.
Debbie completed her PhD in 2015 at the University of Birmingham. The PhD examined the ways in which contributors to the discussion forum of the website of a prominent vaccine-critical campaign group draw on publicly available discursive resources to construct knowledge and make claims to expertise.
Increasingly, social media platforms such as the microblog site, Twitter, act as the locus for public debate about a range of social, political and health-related issues. A topic which has recently started to regain traction is the notion that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) triple vaccine can cause autism. The specific affordances and limitations of microblogs play a substantial role in shaping the nature of the discourse which is produced on such sites. This project uses a Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS) approach to discover the ways in which debates about vaccine safety are constructed on Twitter.