Gender and Language, Vol 1, No 1 (2007)

When and where we enter: Social contect and desire in women's discourse

Marcyliena Morgan
Issued Date: 18 Jan 2007


This article concerns the place of race and social class in establishing norms of usage
in the study of language and gender. It argues for descriptions of women’s language
that incorporate their multilayered race and class realities. In particular, it argues
that notions of ‘normal women’s speech’ are often unmarked regarding race and class. These norms contribute to stereotypes of the speech of black and working class women. It asks the questions: How do we develop a method of analysis that represents social and cultural context, includes most women’s experience and desire, does not favor the
western middle class woman, and critiques patriarchy and social class biases? Can we address intersectionality, where race, class, sexuality and gender interrelate for some women and do not act as independent forms of oppression? Is it possible to do language and gender research that does not privilege one group of women?

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.2007.1.1.119


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