University of Nottingham Malaysia
School of English

Melissa Yoong

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Melissa Yoong's research lies at the intersection of language, gender, professional life, and media, with a particular interest in the ways in which structural imbalances and disadvantages are depoliticised. She has spoken on issues of gender equality for various organisations as well as for public audiences, including on the independent radio station, BFM. She is an affiliate with the Linguistic Profiling for Professionals (LiPP) business unit based in the School of English, UK, and has provided her expertise on gender and language in professional contexts as a mentor for the FutureLearn online course, How to Read Your Boss. In addition to being the Director of Teaching and Learning for the School of English, Malaysia, she is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' Equality and Diversity Committee. Melissa holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Nottingham, UK.

Teaching Summary

Melissa convenes the following UG and MA modules:

ENGL1036 Introduction to Linguistics

ENGL2032 Discourse and Society

ENGL2049 Language, Gender and Sexuality

ENGL4292 Approaches to Language and Linguistics

Research Summary

Melissa is currently working on the following research:

Discursive Constructions of Intra-ethnic Otherness: The Case of 'China Dolls' in the Malaysian Media

This study explores the ideologies embedded in the media's othering of 'China Dolls', a homogenised and highly stigmatised outgroup consisting of Chinese national women in Malaysia.

Examining Audience Response to Media Texts on Women and Work

In my earlier research, I analysed the professional discourses and gendered identities of working women manifested within Malaysian media targeting a female audience. This study picks up the threads of that investigation and conducts focus groups to uncover what meanings the participants activate and which positions they take up when interacting with media texts on women and work.

Recent Publications

  • YOONG, M., 2019. Discrimination in tweets: Gender, social media and politics. In: SOPHIE LEMIÈRE, ed., The Other Democracy: Malaysian Politics and People Vol. 3. Strategic Information and Research Development Centre. (In Press.)
  • YOONG, M., 2018. Language, gender and sexuality. In: PHILIP SEARGEANT, ANN HEWINGS and STEPHEN PIHLAJA, eds., The Routledge Handbook of English Language Studies. Routledge.
  • MULLANY, L. and YOONG, M., 2017. Gender and the workplace. In: BERNADETTE VINE, ed., The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace. Routledge.

Past Research

Conference Presentations:

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 (IGALA) Conference

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

YOONG, M., 2016. "Create Opportunities for Yourself!": Neoliberal Postfeminism in a Malaysian Women's Magazine. At: 9th International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) Conference

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

YOONG, M., 2013. Sexism on UNMC Students' Facebook "Confessions" Page. At: Ms Education: Women, Equality and Education in the 21st century

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: <>

School of English

University of Nottingham Malaysia
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