Latest Issue: Vol 11, No 3 (2017) RSS2 logo

Gender and Language

Co-editors
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 and University of Gothenburg, Sweden

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
Argentina

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

    Impact Factor 2015: 0.267

    H Index: 3

    CiteScore 2016: 0.31

    SRJ 2015:0.159

    SNIP 2015: 1.039


    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...
     

    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...
     

    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

     

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

    The paper investigates how nationalism (which flourished since the disintegration of Yugoslavia) and Serbo-Croatian language unity is instrumentalised to block the debates on sexist language in Serbia. Serbian feminists criticise current language practices as being sexist by making women linguistically invisible or rather exclusively visible in stereotypical contexts with only little social prestige. They challenge the supposedly gender-neutrality of so called ‘masculine generics’ and demand a consistent use of gender-specific forms for females. On the contrary, traditional Serbian linguists deny any discriminatory language patterns claiming that nouns for males can be used for females as well because of the ‘nature’ or ‘spirit’ of the Serbian language. Beside those arguments known from similar debates which have been held for other languages, the Serbian anti-feminist discourses on gender and language are even specific: Several gender-specific female nouns are found not to be Serbian but Croatian and should therefore not be used in Serbia. The proposals of feminists for non-sexist language are even accused of endangering Serbian national integrity by turning the Serbian language into Croatian – ignoring the fact that Serbian and Croatian share most of their lexicon being successor languages of Serbo-Croatian.
    Posted: 2017-02-15More...
     

    Negotiating the tall poppy syndrome in New Zealand workplaces: women leaders managing the challenge

    The ‘tall poppy syndrome’ (TPS) is one example of a societal constraint whose function in Australasia is to enforce society-wide ideologies such as egalitarianism and the gender order. The TPS acts as an enforcement mechanism which keeps self-promoting discourse in check. While carefully managed selfpromotion is permissible in some contexts, there are others where New Zealanders are expected to behave with modesty and humility. Using a social realist approach and drawing on data from four different professional contexts (a commercial company, a medical clinic, a government department and a nongovernmental organisation), this paper explores the discursive instantiation of the TPS in combination with potentially competing leader and gender identities as experienced by New Zealand women leaders. Finally, we ask if the pressure to conform to the egalitarian ethic, alongside other downplaying strategies, is gendered in New Zealand workplaces.

     

    Posted: 2016-12-29More...
     

    ‘Ci sono troie in giro in Parlamento che farebbero di tutto’: Italian female politicians seen through a sexual lens

    Italian female politicians are increasingly gaining access to the institutional public space, in some cases breaking the glass ceiling that has blocked them from reaching high positions. However, language used to attack them for their possible wrong doings or employed to represent themselves demonstrates that a rearrangement of a gendered xed order is constantly challenged by (those in) a culture and society that still sees women as mainly pertaining to the private sphere. In this article, I qualitatively investigate sexual terms, directly and indirectly sexist, used by a variety of actors (journalists, comedians, politicians) attempting to prove women’s unsuitability for political roles and, more broadly, for operating in the institutional public sphere. To examine these terms, I developed a framework which takes into consideration communicative functions (stereotypes, gossip and self-representation), aimed at providing a comprehensive and context-dependent investigation into how language is purposefully used to re-establish a known gendered structure (only men in the institutional sphere). Nexus analysis, borrowed from anthropologists Ron Scollon and Suzanne Scollon, is here performed in order to show how language is intrinsically linked to an ideologically gendered order which speakers seem to reproduce through linguistic practices. This article contributes to previous literature on Italy as a highly sexist culture as well as that on representation of female professionals operating in domains which have been historically inhabited by men. It also offers a methodological tool to investigate sexist terms employed in the media and in political spaces. 

    Posted: 2016-12-29More...
     

    Identity and naming practices in British marriage and civil partnerships

    This article demonstrates the continued prevalence of traditional, heteronormative practices regarding marriage and naming practices, and also considers the complex choices made by same-sex couples who marry in relation to whether there are any benefits in changing their surname. The study draws on data from an online survey of 1,000 respondents, and reveals that it continues to be viewed as more ‘normal’ for a woman to take her husband’s surname in a heterosexual union than for her to make any other choice. Whilst other options (such as the woman retaining the surname given to her by her parents, for instance) are often considered in relation to heterosexual marriage, these continue to be seen as a deviation from the norm. We find that the role of tradition is critical to heterosexual women’s decisions over what to do with their surname, whether they follow the culturally expected route or consciously deviate from it. Same-sex couples are broadly perceived to have comparably more freedom than heterosexuals regarding their names, and here we analyse whether this is the case. Through qualitative critical analysis of the discursive responses of those completing our survey, and some quantitative discussion of the data, we demonstrate that heteronormative assumptions about a woman’s role in a heterosexual relationship have continued salience and that this leads to a conscious and often difficult negotiation of her own identity as both an individual and a wife.
    Posted: 2016-12-29More...
     

    Differentiations and intersections: a corpus-assisted discourse study of gender representations in the British press before, during and after the London Olympics 2012

    This study examines the impact of a global sports event on gender representations in media reporting. Whereas previous research on gender, sport and media has been mainly concerned with sports events in the North American or Australian context, this study investigates the British media reporting before, during and after the London Olympics 2012. Our study follows the approach of Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS) and uses both quantitative and qualitative research procedures. The results reveal more balanced gender representations during the London Olympics in that the ‘regular’ biased associations were supressed in favour of positive references to female achievements. However, little carry-though of the ‘gains’ was noted. Also, this study shows that the positive associations intersected with national sentiments and were used to celebrate the nation-state. At the same time, some subtle resistance was observed to accepting as ‘truly’ British the non-white athletes and those not born in Britain.
    Posted: 2016-12-29More...
     

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