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Language & Gender

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  • 1. Language & Gender
    1
    Clive McGoun
  • 2. Identity and Gender
    We need to examine the following two claims:
    Gender identities are shaped by many different factors – individual and collective: biological and social
    The ways we construct our identities is strongly influenced by a set of rather stereotypically feminine and masculine characteristics and traits that we often associate with gender categories.
    Clive McGoun
    2
  • 3. gender/sex
    The homeless were recorded by genderand whether adult or child, but names were not taken. He declined to identify the surgeon , even by sex.
    We unconditionally reject [birth control] as a means of gender selection. In the new paradigm of sex determination that is emerging, the fetus is roughly female to begin with.
    She lifted one leg, saw the gender of the baby, threw the leg down and said the baby was a boy The 38-year-old Couric said the sex of the baby hasn't been determined.
    Clive McGoun
    3
  • 4. Dictionary Definitions
    [gen-der]     1. Grammar.     1. a. A set of two or more categories, as masculine, feminine, and neuter, into which words are divided according to sex, animation, psychological associations, or some other characteristic, and that determine agreement with or the selection of modifiers, referents, or grammatical forms.     1. b. One category of such a set.     1. c. The classification of a word or grammatical form in such a category.     1. d. The distinguishing form or forms used.     2. Classification of sex.
    [sex]     1. a. The property or quality by which organisms are classified according to their reproductive functions.     1. b. Either of two divisions, designated male and female, of this classification.     2. Males or females collectively.     3. The condition or character of being male or female; the physiological, functional, and psychological differences that distinguish the male and the female.     4. The sexual urge or instinct as it manifests itself in behavior.     5. Sexual intercourse.     6. The genitalia.
    Clive McGoun
    4
  • 5. Positions
    From a recent medical text
    Taken as a noun, sex is a biological determinant, while gender carries psychological and sociological  implications. Hence in biological sciences, sex differences are innate, chromosomally determined characteristics that distinguish between males and females, while in psychological and sociological sciences gender differences refer to male or female traits that result from learning and social roles.
    Clive McGoun
    5
  • 6. Differentiation Sex vs. Gender
    Sex:
    Sex refers to the male and female duality of biology and reproduction. An organism's sex reflects its biological function in reproduction, not its sexuality or other behavior.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex)
    Gender:
    Although "gender" is commonly used interchangeably with "sex," within the academic fields of cultural studies, gender studies and the social sciences in general, the term "gender" often refers to purely social rather than biological differences.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender)
  • 7. Table 1
    Clive McGoun
    7
    Table 1 contains 45 terms which might be used to categorise people. Which, if any, of these words would you use to describe yourself?
  • 8. Table 2
    Clive McGoun
    8
    Table 2: Typically feminine and typically masculine characteristics. (Woodward, 2000)
  • 9. Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity
    Masculinity:
    Masculinity refers to qualities and behaviors judged by a particular culture to be ideally associated with or especially appropriate to men and boys. Distinct from maleness, which is a biological and physiological classification concerned with the reproductive system, masculinity principally refers to socially acquired traits and secondary sex characteristics.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculinity)
  • 10. Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity
    Femininity:
    Femininity refers to qualities and behaviors judged by a particular culture to be ideally associated with or especially appropriate to women and girls. Distinct from femaleness, which is a biological and physiological classification concerned with the reproductive system, femininity principally refers to socially acquired traits and secondary sex characteristics.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femininity)
    In western culture: gentleness, patience, kindness
    • Consideration of different societies and their definition of Femininity and Masculinity
  • Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity
    Masculinity and Femininity are relative terms:
    - some women have more muscle than some men
    - some women weigh more than some men
    - some men have finer hand movement than some women
    - some men are more patience than some women
    - some women are more courageous than some men
  • 11. Gender Identity
    Clive McGoun
    12
  • 12. Social Structures: Masculinity and Femininity
    female language male and female language male language
    the majority of people use a combination of male and female language
    females only
    some females, some males
    males only
  • 13. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech
    Slyles of speech are influenced by many factors such as:
    - geographical dimensions (place)
    - temporal dimensions (age, time)
    - context of situation (the how, when, where, the who with, the what, under what circumstances)
    Influence by gender:
    one must consider:
    The gender of the speaker
    The gender of the hearer
    The gender of the audience
    The gender of the person referred to or spoken of
  • 14. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech
    Examples/exercise:
    A man talks to a man:
    Lets get hammered! (short, vulgar, NOT impolite)
    I don‘t like this topic at all. (formal behaviour, audience, statement)
    He was a hell of a man! (talking about s.o., compliment)
  • 15. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech
    A woman talks to a woman:
    Let‘s meet for a make up party next saturday.
    (informative, polite)
    Do you mind if we change the topic.
    (formal behaviour, audience, politeness)
    The guy I met in the elevator had a very bad attitude.
    (honest, polite, bad experience)
  • 16. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech
    A man talks to a woman
    Would you like to have another drink?
    (polite, playing a role, thinking of own interest)
    We will discuss the topic tomorrow if you don‘t mind.
    (politeness, formality, audience)
    He is a very strange person.
    (covering own antipathy with politeness)
  • 17. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech
    A woman talks to a man
    You should hurry up honey.
    (indicating time pressure, polite, hidden information)
    I will announce my decision tomorrow at 2 pm.
    (formal, audience, informative)
    It was an interesting experience to meet him.
    (polite description of a bad experience, hiding emotions)
  • 18. exercise
    Pretend to be the opposite sex than you are and write a short message to your boy/girlfriend using female/male language.
    Explain what makes your message sound like a man/woman.
  • 19. Sociolect Differences: Dialogues and Styles of Speech
    Each sex is bilingual
    - not two languages but two different ways of
    speaking
    - the more you use fomal language the more it becomes a part of your vernacular, not vice versa

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