Latest Issue: Vol 14, No 2 (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

Line Editor Assistant
Ayden Parish, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Social Media Manager
Olivia Hirschey Marrese, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Please send books for review to:
Federica Formato
University of Brighton
B211 Checkland Building, Village Way

About the Journal

Gender and Language offers an international forum for language-based research on gender and sexuality from feminist, queer, and trans perspectives. While there are many journals focused on gender and many journals focused on language, Gender and Language is currently the only academic journal to which scholars interested in the intersection of these dimensions can turn, whether as contributors looking for an audience sharing this focus or as readers seeking a reliable source for current discussions in the field. The journal showcases research on the social analytics of gender in discourse domains that include institutions, media, politics and everyday interaction.

As a point of departure, Gender and Language defines gender along two key dimensions. First, gender is a key element of social relationships that are often loosely linked to perceived differences between women and men. Gender relations are ideologically encoded in linguistic and symbolic representations, normative concepts, institutions, social practices, and social identities. Second, gender is a primary arena for articulating power in complex interaction with other dimensions of social difference and identity, such as class, race, ability, age, 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.

Gender and Language was established in 2007 by the founding editors and Equinox Publishing, with the endorsement of the International Gender and Language Association (IGALA). Equinox and IGALA continue to enjoy a close partnership to further mutual goals of promoting cutting edge research on gender and language. Most critically, the journal aims to bring together a pan-global, interdisciplinary consortium of scholars whose work collectively challenges established disciplinary boundaries and incorporates multiple geopolitical axes of academic interpretation. To this end, the journal welcomes research employing a range of different approaches, among them applied linguistics, conversation analysis, corpus linguistics, critical discourse analysis, discursive psychology, ethnography of communication, interactional sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, linguistic landscapes, pragmatics, raciolinguistics, social semiotics, sociophonetics, stylistics, symbolic interactionism and variationist sociolinguistics.

Gender and Language welcomes research articles that display originality with respect to theoretical framing, use of empirical materials, timeliness, and/or methodological orientation. The journal also invites critical essays, interviews, exchanges, colloquia, commentaries and responses, brief translations of key articles originally published in languages other than English, profiles of key figures, reviews of recently published books and special issues devoted to topics of relevance to the field.

Abstracting & Indexing

The journal is covered by:


Journal Impact Factor: 0.429 (Clarivate Analytics, 2018 data)

5 Year Impact Factor: 0.500

CiteScore 2019: 0.9

SNIP 2019: 0.647

SJR 2019: 0.210

Qualis CAPES tier 2

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

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.



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...

Language, indexicality and gender ideologies: contextual effects on the perceived credibility of women

It is well established that listeners’ attitudes to variability in language are affected by context. One speaker’s use of a particular form will not necessarily be evaluated in the same way as another’s use of that same form, and the pragmatic meanings listeners associate with speech depend on the specific social setting in which that speech occurs. In this article, we explore how this contextual sensitivity of sociolinguistic perception interacts with broader ideologies about gender. Specifically, we examine how the use of ‘uptalk’, or rising final intonation on declarative utterances, impacts the perceived credibility of women versus men in different legal contexts, including those characterized by strong ideologies of gender (e.g. a rape trial) and those in which that ideological framing is less pronounced (e.g. a medical malpractice trial). Our goal is to identify how social ideologies about gender affect listeners’ perceptions of uptalk, and to explore the ramifications that these perceptions have on women’s ability to be believed in a courtroom.
Posted: 2019-10-23More...

Aggressive but loyal: modification and gender roles in British children’s adventure books

Language powerfully impacts the construction of our gender identities. In the mid-twentieth century gender stereotypes were strong, but at the same time feminism was giving rise to new ideas and becoming increasingly mainstream. What gender-related discourse prosodies did children encounter in popular literature? Did these merely reinforce the conventional stereotypes or did they contain the seeds of change? This study of British children's fiction published in the 1940s-60s seeks to answer these questions through an analysis of personality descriptors collocated with female and male characters in eight books by four prolific children's writers. Although gender stereotypes (as represented by the Bem Sex-Role Inventory) are to some extent reinforced in these books, there are also considerable discrepancies. Children were meeting a range of positive models which did not always match ‘feminine' or ‘masculine' stereotypes.

Posted: 2019-10-21More...

Study abroad as a space where akogare (憧れ) circulates: a case study of Japanese college students’ study abroad experiences in the UK

This study explores the complex dynamics of akogare, a Japanese concept describing a strong attraction to something or someone unattainable. Prior research on the dynamics of akogare in English language learning studies has largely been limited to the consideration of Japanese women’s sexual or romantic desire for the West. The classical hypothesis of gendered akogare arising from this research has led to a disproportionate representation of akogare as Japanese women’s active sexualised agency. This study scrutinises narratives derived from semi-structured interviews with seven Japanese students, male and female, who participated in study abroad programmes in the UK. Drawing from theoretical understandings of ‘materiality’ and ‘space’, the analysis observes how multifaceted akogare circulates in a study abroad setting that is influenced by learners’ linguistic and gendered relations to the West. The analysis suggests that the study abroad setting serves as a multidimensional space to (re)construct oneself through the lens of akogare as a discerning English learner who asserts cognitive distance from Western hegemony.
Posted: 2019-10-21More...

Occupational titles and personal pronouns: hann and hún as subsequent forms in Icelandic conversation

The aim of this article is to investigate gender categorisation in sequences that introduce referents by their occupational titles. The study addresses the following three questions: (1) What can the systematic patterns in authentic conversation tell us about the use of gender in Icelandic? (2) What is the distribution of labour between grammatical and referential gender? (3) Does the mismatch between grammatical and referential gender cause any problems in the conversation? The data used come from 10 hours and 22 minutes of conversation recorded between 1996 and 2018 comprising everyday conversations, phone calls, radio interviews about current affairs, moderated political debates and spontaneous speeches in the parliament. In total, 55 sequences of occupational titles were identified in the data. The analysis shows that when the gender of the referent is known to the speaker, the choice of pronoun is based on the referential gender, but when the gender is unknown or the main referent is hypothetical, the speaker uses a pronoun that matches the grammatical gender of the noun. Finally, the data show that the choice of pronoun rarely triggers repairs.

Posted: 2019-10-21More...


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