Latest Issue: Vol 14, No 1 (2020) RSS2 logo

Gender and Language


Rodrigo Borba, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Kira Hall, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Mie Hiramoto, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Book Review Editor
Federica Formato, University of Brighton, UK

Please send books for review to:

Federica Formato

University of Brighton

B211 Checkland Building, Village Way





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.

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
four issues a year from 2017
ISSN: 1747-6321 (print)
ISSN: 1747-633X (online)

Abstracting & Indexing
The journal is covered by:

  • Social Sciences Citation Index      
  • 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)

  • Metrics

    Journal Impact Factor 2018: 0.286 (Clarivate Analytics, 2017 data)

    CiteScore 2018: 0.45

    SNIP 2018: 0.547

    SJR 2018: 0.253

    For general inquires, please contact:General Inquiries

    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...

    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...

    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...

    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...

    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


    Reading relationships, worlds and reality: a multimodal analysis of Lego City and Lego Friends home pages

    Existing literature highlights the gendered worlds of children’s toys, Lego City and Friends included, which target boys and girls respectively. The current article critically examines City and Friends home pages, since these act as a concise introduction to their online and offline spheres. I am particularly interested in how the two home pages differently summarise the sets and represent ‘reality’ for users; by this, I refer to the toys’ relationship with users’ real-life existences, both regarding the modality of their represented worlds and how users are encouraged to interact with the toy. Analysis indicates that, although both explicitly position themselves as toys to be used in viewers’ worlds, Friends and City present disparate realities and relationships with users. Friends promotes both real-life and imaginary friendship for consumers through interacting with its girl friendship group, whereas City emphasises action-oriented relationships where users are elevated to a heroic status in the imaginary city. I show how these relationships are realised through different semiotic resources, including visual modalities, linguistic choices and website format. I consider the intricacies of their semiotic choices and conclude by discussing the potential implications of these choices for shaping how children interact with and emotionally engage with the toys.
    Posted: 2019-12-13More...

    ‘Bitch I’m back, by popular demand’: agency and structure in a study abroad setting

    This paper explores the gender order and heteronormativity as salient ideologicalstructures affecting identity construction and agency in a study abroadcontext. Drawing on a multi-layered case study of Hugo (a French universityexchange student in New Zealand), I examine interactional and ethnographicdata to shine light on processes involved in negotiating sexuality and genderidentities in both the host and home contexts. Specifically, the analysis allowsinsights into the development of agency within changing structural environmentsduring and after study abroad, and makes the case for a recognitionof the force of ideological constraints. At the same time, I show that 'seeds ofagency', sparked by a destabilisation of habitus, are planted in the study abroadcontext and argue that crossing borders can be the impetus for a liberatingontological excavation of what might be possible.

    Posted: 2019-09-19More...

    Projecting masculinities or breaking sociolinguistic norms? The role of women’s representation in students’ profane language use

    This paper explores how students from University of Ghana’s Commonwealth Hall (the only all-male hall of residence) project diverse masculine identities through how they represent women in their use of profanity and other uncouth linguistic forms. Data were collected from recorded profane songs, observations from various case studies of the use of insults and profane expressions and interviews with users of these expressions. The data generally present a picture of sexual and verbal abuse as ‘ideal’ ways of showing male dominance and power over women. These abuses are valued by the students, even though they are not expected practices in Ghanaian society. The paper concludes that although some students claim they use this language ‘just for fun’, disguising it as harmless only makes it easy to explore obsessions without a sense of guilt. If not properly checked, such obsessions may find expression in how women are treated.
    Posted: 2019-08-11More...

    Metaphors we come out by: how structural metaphors construct coming out in internet advice texts

    This paper uses critical metaphor analysis to explore the main source domains of cognitive metaphors in online coming out advice for LGB individuals. It highlights how the ontological metaphor to come out (of the closet) is remetaphorised by a number of structural metaphors, especially coming out is movement. Noting that Queer theorists have critiqued coming out both as a concept and as an imperative, the paper argues that the coming out advice examined here perpetuates this discourse through the use of coming out is movement (esp. a journey) and coming out is conflict and suggests that other structural metaphors could be more useful to the readers of coming out advice.
    Posted: 2019-07-04More...

    ‘Should Latinas go blond?’ Media representation and the regulation of Latina bodies and Latinas’ social and cultural practices in a beauty magazine

    In the United States, ‘Latinas’ is an ethnic category that includes a very diverse population. Since second- and third-generation Latinxs tend to be Englishdominant speakers, it is common to see publications in English that target this group. This study analyses how one of these publications, a beauty magazine for Latinas, uses different linguistic devices in their interviews and beauty advice columns to create a racially/ethnically homogeneous image of this community. My analysis focuses on this publication’s articles about hair, with particular attention to metaphors, the use of Spanish, and the indexicality of the term Latina itself. It shows that while characteristics of, and stereotypes about, Latinas are praised and celebrated, the advice offered contains instructions to regulate the Latina body to conform to beauty norms that are more valued in the United States, those associated with White women. Also, my analysis shows how this publication establishes different levels of Latinidad (Latinity) in which being too Latina represents traditional and primitive values that seem to be part of these Latinas’ imagined community’s heritage but not their own. I argue that these advice articles are intended to discursively create a Latina body acceptable to mainstream America; that while attempting to create a homogeneous image of Latinas, the publication paints a picture of tolerance toward Latinas that many of them do not experience; and that the articles do not take into account racial, social, ethnic and sexual differences among Latinas. I show how instead this publication seeks to regulate the Latina body and establish which Latinas’ social and cultural practices are acceptable for White America, so that they do not disrupt the predominant social order.
    Posted: 2019-06-28More...





    Registration for the 11th biennial International Gender and Language Association conference (IGALA11) is now open. The conference will take place at Queen Mary University of London from 29 June - 2 July. Information can be found on the conference website.


    IGALA11 will feature 192 talks in 6 parallel sessions, including 6 thematic panels organised around the conference theme of Language and the Geopolitics of Gender. IGALA11 will also feature 4 plenary lectures by leading language and gender scholars: Susan Ehrlich, Michelle Lazar, Busi Makoni and Lal Zimman.


    In addition to conference participation, registration for IGALA11 includes all refreshment breaks, lunch on 30 June and 1-2 July, the opening reception in the evening of 29 June and the conference dinner/party on 1 July.


    A limited amount of on-campus accommodation is also available for the conference. Details can be found on the accommodation page on our website. The cost of accommodation is in addition to registration.


    We encourage conference attendees to join IGALA, but this is not a requirement (IGALA membership is required for people presenting at IGALA11). IGALA membership is renewed annually in January and includes a subscription (print and/or online) to the association’s journal Gender & Language. You can join/renew online. Student discounts are available. IGALA membership fees are in addition to conference registration fees.


    Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you in London in June!

    Posted: 2020-01-30
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