Conversation analysis has• Made a mayor contribution to discussions about language an gender.• With the move from the view of the role of the language as a refection of social reality to a view of the role of language in the construction of social reality. (Paltridge, 2006, p. 120)
Conversation analysis reveals• How gender is constructed as a joint activity in social interaction. (Paltridge, 2006, p. 120)• Weatherall (In Paltridge 2006, p. 120) discusses the concept of gender noticing for accounting of gender when “speakers make it explicit that is a relevant feature of the conversational interaction”.
• The analysis of data from a conversation analysis perspective can help reveal aspects of gendered interaction. (Paltridge, 2006, p. 120)
For the next example we need:• To know what is membership categorization• It began with the work of Harvey Sacks (1972, 1992) who became interested in the way in which categorizations rely on social categories, and how these and associated social categories might be organized into collections, known as membership categorization devices.
• “My attention shall be limited to those categories in the language in terms of which persons may be classified. For example, the categories: male„, … Frequently such membership categories are organized, by persons of the society using them, into what I shall call collections of membership categories, categories that members of society feel go together.” (Sacks, 1966: 15-16; (cited by Jayyusi, 1984: 212))
• The central elements in the use of social categories, according to Sacks, are membership categorization devices and a set of "rules of application". Rules of application match categories from a device to individuals or collections of individuals.
• Of particular interest is the "consistency rule" and its corollary the "hearers maxim". The consistency rule states, roughly, that if a category from a MCD is used to categorize a member of a particular population, then all other members may be categorized with categories from that device.
• One may view the consistency rule as applying to the production of a categorization such that speakers may co- select categories from within the same device. The hearers side of the consistency rule is termed a "hearers maxim": "if two or more categories are used to categorize two or more members of some population, and those categories can be heard as categories from the same collection, then: hear them that way" (Sacks, 1992A: 221)
• Furthermore, such categories may provide for inferences concerning typical activities of their incumbents. Such activities are referred to as being category-bound (Sacks 1992).
• The classic example from Sack‟s, derived somewhat atypically from a book of stories by children, is how we understand the expression “The baby cried, the mommy picked it up”.
• Sack‟s contends, and the reader is encouraged to try this on their own, that we hear the “mommy” as the “baby’s mommy”.• The basic idea is that if we can hear the rendering of the categories, mommy and baby, as belonging to the device, members of a family, then we hear them that way.
• We may say that picking up their babies is a category bound activity of mommies, something mommies are expected to do. Thus when offered a description of some mommy picking up some baby, we infer they are members of the same family unless of course we know of some reason not to do so.
• Jayusi (1984 &1991) brought forth the moral and normative character of categories and categorization. Recall from the mommy and baby example above that we expect mommies to pickup babies. It is not far from that to suggest that we expect them to do so as they should do so, and in this way issues of normality and morality can be seen to come into play.
Going back to the gender…• „Gender relations‟ carries the potential not just for differentiation and differential empowerment, but also dominance, disadvantage, and economic, educational and political inequality. This is true regardless of whether women and men live, learn and work alongside each other, or live largely parallel rather than „integrated‟ lives. Sunderland, J. (2006, p. 25)
• Potentially including relations at macro- , institutional levels, at domestic, familial ones, and in small-scale, brief interactions, „gender relations‟ entails the potential for those relations to be maintained and perpetuated in part through language. Sunderland, J. (2006, p. 25)
• „(Male) dominance‟ entailed a focus on actual males and females and the „differences‟ between them. The collocates „gender portrayals‟, „gender stereotypes‟ and „gender ideas‟ refer rather to how gender, including alleged differences, is talked about (and thus textually constructed). Sunderland, J. (2006, p. 25)
• These suggest that the idea of gender as a set of differences is being (at least) supplemented by a notion of gender as a construct, or idea, dissociated from dimorphically sexed human beings. Sunderland, J. (2006, p. 25)
References• Jayusi, L. 1984. Categorization and the moral order. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.• Jayyusi, L. 1991 „Values and Moral Judgement‟, in G. Button (ed.) Ethnomethodology and the Human Sciences, pp. 227–51. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.• Paltridge, B. (2006). Discourse Analysis: an Introduction. London: Continuum.• Sack, H. 1972b. On the analyzability of stories by children. In J. J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (Eds.), Directions in sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of communication, pp. 325-345. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. (Reprinted in R. Turner (Ed.), 1974, Ethnomethodology. Penguin).• Sacks, H. 1966. The search for help: No-one to turn to. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Sociology• Sacks, H. 1972a. An initial investigation of the usability of conversational data for doing sociology. In D. Sudnow (Ed.), Studies in social interaction, pp.. New York: Free Press 31- 74• Sacks, H. 1992. Lectures on conversation (2 vol. ed.), Edited by G. Jefferson, introduction by E. Schegloff. Oxford: Blackwell. [Combined vols. ed., 1995]• Sunderland, J. (2006). Language and gender. New York: Routledge.• Example: Sex and the City, Episode 10 Season 4.