Latest Issue: Vol 10, No 3 (2016): Gender and Multimodality 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.

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.


Forthcoming Issue

GAL 11.1 (2017)

Table of Contents

“This final slap was the hardest one”: Identifying moments of empowerment in Iranian women’s blogs
Maryam Paknahad Jaborooty, Paul Baker

Is Serbian becoming Croatian? Nationalist counter-reactions to feminist linguistics in Serbia
Simone Rajilic

Commodification of Women Through Conceptual Metaphors: The Metaphor Woman as a Car in the Western Balkans
Vesna Bratić, Milica Vukovic

Men and Women on Air: The Use of Humour in a Malaysian Radio Phone-In Programme to Reinforce and Oppose Gender Stereotypes
Melissa Yoong

Gendering occupations: Persistence and resistance of gender presumptions about members of particular healthcare professions
Katie Ekberg, Stuart Ekberg

‘It wasn't because a woman couldn't do a man's job’: Uncovering gender ideologies in the context of interviews with American female and male war veterans
Joanna Pawelczyk

Forthcoming Issue

GAL 11.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

The Playful and Gendered use of Insults and Criticisms in Romantic Couple’s Everyday Banter
Neill Korobov

Acadamy of Devotion: Performing status, hierarchy, and masculinity on reality TV
Cindi SturtzSreetharan

An exploratory review of gender ideologies and sexism in the Ga language
Benedicta Adokarley Lomotey

‘You are stupid, you are cupid’: playful polyphony as a resource for affectionate expression in the talk of a young London couple
Pia Pichler

Emerging Genders: Semiotic Agency and the Performance of Gender among Genderqueer Individuals
Anna Corwin


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/Social Scisearch Impact Factor 2015 = 0.267©       
  • 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  H-Index: 3 (2015); SJR: .159
  • 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)

  • 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...

    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


    Representing affective labour and gender performativity in knowledge work: a multimodal critical discourse analysis

    This paper argues that a multimodal approach to critical discourse analysis makes visible how contemporary office design and furnishings prescribe gender performativities crucial to the labour of communicative capitalism (Dean 2005). Examining WWW-based promotional material produced by multinational contract furniture producers, a critical analysis is offered of the ways in which the open-plan office is represented as a wellspring of affective labour. First, attention is turned to detailing the kinds of social actors and their actions depicted in the representations of office work. Second, the kinds of interactional meanings produced in the videos are documented. Having established how these idealized representations of knowledge work highlight particular embodiments and actions, the paper then argues that the promotional materials are in fact constituting those ‘bodies that matter’ (Butler 1993) to communicative capitalism. Ultimately, these videos depict how the female knowledge worker must ‘cite’ a normative feminized affective worker so as to be recognized as a viable employee.
    Posted: 2016-09-26More...

    Sound, music and gender in mobile games

    In everyday life it is now common to find our actions linked to sound, especially using technology, such as when we use mobile devices, or operate more recently manufactured cars, technology in the workplace or simply in an elevator. While we may attend little to these noises, like any semiotic resource, they can communicate very specific meanings and carry ideologies. In this paper, using multimodal critical discourse analysis, we analyse the sounds and music in two proto-games that are played on mobile devices: Genie Palace Divine and Dragon Island Race. While visually the two games are highly gendered, we show that an investigation of the sounds players can make during gameplay reveals very specific insights into the ways that sound positions players in the world. In each game we ask: what is foregrounded and what backgrounded as regards sound? Sound can be used to signal the personal and impersonal and specific kinds of social relations which, we show, is highly gendered. It can also signal priorities, ideas and values, which in both cases, we show, relate to a world where there is simply no time to stop and think.

    Posted: 2016-09-26More...

    Visual silence and non-normative sexualities: art, transduction and performance

    Marginalization of people in non-hegemonic / non-normative gender roles and sexualities is often discussed in terms of their ‘silencing’. Besides, as silence tends to occupy liminal stages of communication and interaction, it is well suited to indexing marginalized subjectivities. This paper argues that in the context of artistic performance, that is when silence is displayed rather than imposed, silence can be re-valued as affirming and liberating. Art, which thrives on equivocality and understatement, tends to be silence-friendly due to its affordances of relative indeterminacy and ambiguity. Thus, the examples of transduction of silence in modern and contemporary art illustrate how art embraces, rather than obscures or disavows, male and female homosexual identities and non-heroic masculinities. The works examined include: Robert Rauschenberg’s and Agnes Martin’s monochromes, New York Dada drawings and photographs, and activist HIV/AIDS installations and photographs.
    Posted: 2016-09-26More...

    Grandmother, gran, gangsta granny: semiotic representations of grandmotherhood

    Age as an important identity dimension has been comparatively neglected within gender studies. Our paper concerns the semiotic representation of a role performed in the main by older women: that of ‘grandmother’, a social category particularly associated with ageing. To explore this, we draw on image banks, corpus data and other texts in order to discuss images, lexical/textual labelling and their intermodal relations. We find in our visual data that grandmothers are contextualised in two ways: sharing semiotic resources of childhood or domestic contexts, or presented as transgressive actors, located in incongruous situations or performing behaviours inappropriate for their ‘age’. Our discussion of corpus data complements the multimodal analyses, providing further examples of stereotyping: while references to individual grandmothers often evaluate positively, there is also strong evidence of generic, figurative and other usages that trivialise and derogate. Our conclusions point to processes of social devaluation: ageism and sexism are the pervasive and underlining ideologies recurrent in these representations. The broader implications are particularly relevant for the present time, as new forms of grandmothering appear.

    Posted: 2016-09-26More...

    ‘Off to the best start’? A multimodal critique of breast and formula feeding health promotional discourse

    This study critically examines the multimodal discourses of baby-feeding practices in contemporary health promotion in the UK. Comparing two parallel texts from the ongoing Start4life campaign (one dedicated to breastfeeding, the other to bottle/formula feeding), our multimodal critical discourse analysis identifies a series of recurring, multisemiotic strategies through which these texts aim to promote breastfeeding as the most desirable, natural and even morally responsible method of infant nutrition. These discursive strategies, we argue, are underpinned and driven by neoliberal assumptions about infant feeding, health and risk, which fail to take into account the structural constraints that affect the take-up of the ‘ideal’ of breastfeeding, all the while propagating unobtainable and often contradictory notions of total motherhood and familial relations - discursive moves that can have negative consequences for the health and wellbeing of new mothers and their infants.

    Posted: 2016-09-26More...



    eBooks now available

    We've launched our eBook platform serving individuals and libraries. All books now available in print or eBook format.  
    Posted: 2017-03-04
    More Announcements...

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