Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 9, No 1 (2015)

Gender specification and occupational titles: An investigation of French women’s CVs

Caroline Lipovsky
Issued Date: 11 Jun 2015


The adoption of antidiscrimination and equal employment opportunity legislation in France in 1983 sparked feminist language reform initiatives with the aim of legitimizing women’s participation in the workforce and better representing their role in French society. This article aims to evaluate the success of these feminist language planning reforms by investigating their impact in the wider speech community. In particular, it aims to explore French women’s selection of gender specification when describing their occupations, drawing from a set of CVs collected, in 2012, from the professional social network Viadeo. The analysis shows that women have become more willing to adopt feminine job titles that highlight their gender as well as their occupation, in particular for higher status posts, thus challenging norms of usage which discriminate against women.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v9i1.18244


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