Latest Issue: Vol 10, No 1 (2016) RSS2 logo

Gender and Language

Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom and Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil

Tommaso M. Milani
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Book Review Editor
Cecilia Chiacchio
Send Books for Review to:
Gender & Language/Reviews
Departamento de Lenguas y Literaturas Modernas (A118)
Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Calle 51 e/ 124 y 125 /(1925) Ensenada, Prov. Bs As

Open Access Virtual Issue Now Available!

We are very pleased to announce that our first FREE TO DOWNLOAD Virtual Special Issue, “Corpus Approaches to Gender and Language”(V1, 2013), edited by Paul Baker, is now available to access here.

IGALA 9 -- May 2016 Hong Kong

See announcement  below for details for of the next IGALA international conference or visit conference site for more details. 

About the Journal

There are many journals focused on gender and many devoted to language. Most of these sometimes publish articles on language and gender. There is, however, currently no single scholarly journal to which those interested in gender and language can turn as contributors looking for an audience sharing their focus or as readers seeking a reliable source for on-going discussions in the field. Gender and Language fills the gap by offering an international forum for research on and debates about feminist research on gender and language.Gender and Language showcases research on femininities and masculinities, on heterosexual and queer identities, on gender at the level of individual performance or perception and on gender at the level of institutions and ideologies.

As a point of departure, Gender and Language defines gender along two key dimensions. First, gender is a key element of social relationships often loosely linked to perceived differences between the sexes. Gender relations are encoded in linguistic and symbolic representations, normative concepts, social practices, institutions and social identities. Second, gender is a primary arena for articulating power, intersecting in complex ways with other axes of inequality, like class, race, and sexuality. Gender is understood as multi-faceted, always changing, and often contested: the editors welcome discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of competing definitions of gender and of new analytical perspectives.

The journal encourages discussion and debate about the implications of different definitions of gender and different approaches to analyzing the production and interpretation of texts and speech. It welcomes research employing a range of linguistic approaches (e.g. conversation analysis, discourse and text analysis, ethnography of communication, pragmatics, variationist sociolinguistics, interactional sociolinguistics, stylistics) and from a variety of disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, women and gender studies, education, philosophy, psychology, folklore, sociology, communication studies, queer studies, literary and cultural studies, as it aims to foster interdisciplinary discussion and dialogue among these disciplines.

Publication Frequency
three issues a year
ISSN: 1747-6321 (print)
ISSN: 1747-633X (online)

Abstracting & Indexing
The journal is covered by:

  • Social Sciences Citation Index/Social Scisearch
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
  • Journal Citation Reports/Social Sciences Edition
  • Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Current Contents/Arts & Humanities
  • Scopus Abstract and Citation Database
  • Linguistics Abstracts
  • Educational Research Abstracts Online
  • MLA Bibliography
  • Bibliography of Linguistic Literature (BIBL)
  • SocIndex with FullTEXT
  • Linguistics and Language Behaviour Abstracts
  • Feminist Periodicals: A Current Listing of Contents
  • European Reference Index (ERIH Plus)
  • Equinox Publishing is an official WorldCat Partner. Our content is centrally indexed in OCLC’s WorldCat Local discovery service.

    IGALA 9 -- May 2016

    For general inquires, please contact:General Inquiries

    Send Books for Review to:
    Gender & Language/Reviews
    Departamento de Lenguas y Literaturas Modernas (A118)
    Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación
    Universidad Nacional de La Plata
    Calle 51 e/ 124 y 125 /(1925) Ensenada, Prov. Bs As

    Most Viewed Articles


    Do bodies matter? Travestis' embodiment of (trans)gender identity through the manipulation of the Brazilian Portuguese grammatical gender system

    This study investigates Southern Brazilian travestis’ manipulation of gender identity through the manipulation of the Portuguese grammatical gender system. We argue that
    the embodiment of feminine features onto biologically male bodies enables travestis to wander through various ideologies about masculinity and femininity and incorporate these ideologies in their linguistic construction of identity. Travestis use masculine forms to refer to themselves or other travestis when: (1) producing narratives about the time before their body transformations took place; (2) reporting speech produced by others when talking about travestis; (3) talking about themselves within their family relationships; and, perhaps the most unveiling category, (4) distinguishing
    themselves from ‘other’ travestis they do not identify with – a face-saving strategy. Thus, the study shows how southern Brazilian travestis use the grammatical gender
    system in Portuguese as a linguistic resource to manipulate their identity/ies and the identity/ies of the community they belong to.
    Posted: 2007-01-18More...

    Zuiqian 'deficient mouth': Discourse, gender and domestic violence

    This article examines the relationship between language, gender and domestic violence.
    Contextualizing the study of domestic violence in China, this article focuses
    its analysis on a metapragmatic discourse on domestic violence – zuiqian ‘deficient
    mouth’ in a working-class community in Beijing. It argues that the discourse of zuiqian,
    by blaming women’s mouths and their ‘deviant’ speaking styles, individualizes
    the serious social problem of domestic violence and downplays the structural force
    that causes male violence. By fragmenting women and regulating their mouths, the
    discourse of zuiqian serves as an anatomic mode of power (anatomo-politics) for the
    state to discipline women and safeguard society. Also, this discourse constitutes a repudiating site (i.e. a site at which subjects are condemned or criticized in order for them to emerge) to construct the kind of subject identified with China’s neoliberal agenda. This study shows that both language and gender can be engaged as either anatomic modes of power or repudiating sites for subjectivity formation in the broader political and economic transformations of the process of globalization. In the context of neoliberalism, the private, the individual and the body have become the bases for
    political legitimacy.
    Posted: 2007-01-18More...

    Can the term "genderlect" be saved? A postmodernist re-definition.

    This article is an attempt to reclaim the term "genderlect" as a valuable sociolinguistic concept. It shows that "genderlect" in its traditional sense as a variety according to speaker sex is just as much a myth as are early sociolinguistic theorisations of "women's/men's language". From a postmodernist perspective, genderlects must be seen as stereotypical resources for gendered stylisation practices that are not to be equalled with how women and men actually speak. This is illustrated by using material from a comprehensive study on linguistic gender stylisation in advertising discourse. Moreover, it is suggested that the strictly binary genderlect concept is abandoned and replaced by another one that sees genderlects as heavily context-dependent, community-based and therefore infinite in number. A postmodernist genderlect concept should be able to deal with hegemonic as well as subversive gender styles and at the same time acknowledge that what is generally judged to be hegemonic in one context might be subversive in another (or vice versa).
    Posted: 2007-07-14More...

    Social constructionism, postmodernism and feminist sociolinguistics

    This article argues that it is time to put women back at the centre of language and gender research. Following a discussion of some issues with social constructionist
    and postmodernist approaches to the analysis of gendered social interaction, a case is made for identifying general (often repressive or constricting) patterns based on
    analyses using a detailed ethnographic approach. More specifically, the paper outlines the advantages of using a community of practice approach to analysing workplace discourse, providing evidence of the ‘gender order’, the repressive ideology which ensures that deviations from gender norms (by women or men) entail penalties. It is argued
    that such an approach provides a means of identifying discursive behaviours which penalise women in many workplace contexts on the one hand, while documenting a
    range of active discursive ways of resisting sexist behaviours on the other.
    Posted: 2007-01-18More...

    Putting communities of practice in their place

    The study of language, gender, and sexuality has enthusiastically embraced the concept community of practice. Now the field needs to take the concept further in two directions: (1) The comparative direction examines different but similar kinds of communities of practice to explore generalizations about how practice contributes
    to the linguistic construction of gender and sexuality; (2) The relational direction locates communities of practice in relation to a world beyond – to other communities of practice, to social networks, to institutions (e.g. schools, churches, prisons), and to more global imagined communities (e.g. nations, women). For each direction, we mention
    exemplary studies, emphasizing that the construct community of practice does not offer new analytic units or replace other concepts, but provides fresh perspectives
    on familiar social units and enriches analyses drawing on other analytic concepts. Only an interdisciplinary research community where researchers connect their work
    can put communities of practice in their proper place.
    Posted: 2007-01-18More...

    Recent Articles


    ‘That’s what I call a man’: representations of racialised and classed masculinities in the UK print media

    According to Connell (1995), "being a man" involves actively positioning one's self in relation to culturally dominant images of masculinity. Yet, crucially, these images change depending on the social and historical context. In this paper, we examine contemporary discourses of masculinity as they are represented in the British press. In particular, we focus on the ways in which masculine representations are both racialized and classed, and how they are positioned in relation to one another within a broader ideological field of gender and power. Analyses are based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of a large corpus (35.5 million words) of newspaper articles on masculinity that appeared in the UK between 2003 and 2011. Our findings underscore the importance of adopting an intersectional approach to the study of language and masculinity, and provide support for recent critical re-evaluations of the foundational concept of hegemonic masculinity.
    Posted: 2015-03-20More...

    Gendering migration narratives: a qualitative inquiry on language use and agency in adaptation stories

    The present study is an attempt to explore gendered construction of agency in and through personal narratives in the context of migration with a group of young Turks in the UK. Narratives relating the initial phase of migration were analysed via a systematic comparison regarding the construction of themes, the structure of narratives and performance in male and female migration stories. In men’s narratives, protagonists’ personal agency -their capacity to act on resources to adapt- appears to centre on their ability to distance themselves from vulnerabilities. However, preserving the protagonist from vulnerabilities to assign him an agentic position restricts the narrator’s ability to tell varied stories. In young women’s narratives, vulnerabilities are constructed as the main basis for their present identities and capabilities. Although this construction provides young women with a flexible position as a narrator and a protagonist, personal agency is constructed in a split manner.
    Posted: 2015-01-20More...

    Labelling black male genitalia and the ‘new racism’: the discursive construction of sexual racism by a group of Southern African college students

    This article explores the discursive construction of sexual racism through names assigned to the black penis by black male college students in Southern Africa. This analysis reveals use of three frequently occurring metaphors: zoomorphs, weapons and heroic historical figures. Collectively, these frequently occurring metaphors associate Southern African black men with notions of (i) wild, animalistic sexuality, (ii) dangerous, violent behaviour, and (iii) large sexual organs, which were prevalent racist ideologies of black male bodies during the colonial period. In addition, perceptions of sociocultural power dynamics attributed to patriarchy are foregrounded through metaphors related to royalty, indicating that names assigned to male genitalia align not only with the colonial construction of sexual racism but also with patriarchal gender relations. The article concludes by suggesting that names assigned to the black penis embody inherent contradictions that are not only characteristic of Southern African masculinities but also significantly complicate the dichotomy between ‘self’ and ‘other’, or ‘us’ and ‘them’, in contemporary Southern Africa.
    Posted: 2014-11-18More...

    The approach that dares speak its name: queer and the problem of ‘big nouns’ in the language of academia

    Over the past two decades, queer has grown into an established critical approach to social science. Correspondingly, the term 'queer' has emerged as a recognised brand in the language of academia. This paper examines the potential risks that such linguistic institutionalisation poses for queer as a critical and emancipatory endeavour. Building on Billig's argument (2013) that the bias towards 'big nouns' in academic discourse tends to further entrench the power of academic elites, I draw a parallel between queer and CDA (Critical discourse analysis) as two emerging academic brands in order to determine whether queer is one such big noun and how this may affect the very capacity of queer scholars to commit themselves to critique and self-critique. I conclude by outlining a modest proposal to ensure that the term 'queer' remains available to be appropriated by whoever shares the premises and the aspirations underlying the queer project.
    Posted: 2014-11-18More...

    Subjects and objects: linguistic performances of sexuality in the lyrics of black female hip-hop artists

    An ongoing debate is the extent to which women’s explicit sexuality transgresses or reinforces the patriarchal status quo that serves to objectify and marginalize women. In this article, I consider this issue through the lens of hip hop. Specifically, I examine the sexually-explicit lyrics of two female rappers, Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliot, in an attempt to explore questions about sexual objectivity and subjectivity, language and agency, and linguistic productions of sexuality in female-produced hip hop. Through a feminist stylistic analysis of the transitivity choices and anatomical fragmentation exhibited in these lyrics, I link the overt sexuality in this music to larger discussions about women’s sexuality and post-feminist discourses.
    Posted: 2014-11-12More...


    No announcements have been published.
    More Announcements...

    Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
    Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: