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Gender Voices

Gender Voices

David Graddol, Will Swann

ISBN: 978-0-631-13734-4

Jan 1991, Wiley-Blackwell

228 pages

Select type: Paperback

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Does the language we speak create and sustain a sexist culture? This controversial and exciting proposal has fascinated feminists, psychologists and linguists alike for well over a decade. The authors of Gender Voices explore in a clear and comprehensive manner the idea that language shapes individual lives-that through our speech we all help recreate gender divisions in society.

Their introductory chapter establishes the relationship between language and social structure. Chapter 2 explores the human voice and traditional notions of 'femininity', 'masculinity' and sexuality. Subsequent chapters analyze differences between women and men in pronunciation and choice of words; discourse patterns and power relationships; the sexist structure of language; and language consciousness. The possibilities for social and linguistic change are examined in the final chapters.

Acknowledgements ix

1 Introduction 1

2 The Voice of Authority 12

3 Accents of Femininity? Gender Differences in Language Use 41

4 Conversation: The Sexual Division of Labour 69

5 Is Language Sexist? 95

6 Language, Communication and Consciousness 135

7 Linguistic Intervention 174

References 197

Index 209