The ideology of gender categories is typically enacted in linguistic practices; indeed, it is through language that the individual cultural understandings of gender categories are learned and the coordination of gender roles achieved (Foley 2001: 289) LANGUAGE AND GENDER • Sex versus Gender • Sexual differences: masculine and feminine • Gender categorization: Social construct • Daily practices: social interaction • Habitus Habitus • Concept from Pierre Bourdieu (with roots going back to Marcel Mauss), denoting the totality of learned, bodily skills, habits, stile, taste etc • Culture inscribed in the body • Gender: habitus Anthropology of Gender • • • • Rosaldo, 1974 Leacock 1978 Moore 1988 Study of the asymmetry of between the sexes: universal • exceptions Main Question • Why it is widespread? • Public realm and private realm hypothesis • Women (work practices): private, viewed inferior • Men: Public, risky activities, economic and social capital, politics Socialization • Perpetuation of asymmetrical patterns between the sexes • Learning gender categories and rules in the childhood The Asymmetry of the Sexes is not Universal • Errington and Gewertz (1987) • Gender can be complementary: Separate but equal • Western versus Chambri (New Guinea) • Western: Separation of the private and public: Exclusion • Chambri: person define by his/her relations What is the connection between Gender and Language? • Gender as Ideology: • Language as a tool for learning gender categorization • Commonly highly valued ways of speaking association • Example: Malagasy speech norms: Indirectness in speech: male activities • Kabary Speech Gender Styles: English • Alternatives: pronunciation, word selection, grammatical construction. • Reflection of gender differences • “You’re driving rather fast, aren’t you? • “Well, I guess it’s approximately four feet high.” Why? • • • • Socialization Cultural values Gender roles and cultural values Social norms: construct and reinforce gender attitudes Gender Roles Reflected in Language Styles • Pronunciation: tone, intonation, volume • Grammatical forms • Choices of vocabulary Sociolinguists look at: • Conversational interactions • Tendencies in language use • Phonological variations Example: New England study: “-ing”; the progressive suffix on verbs - Intonation Fischer’s study(1958) –prefer –ing – Boys – Girls 5 10 prefer –in 7 2 Intonation • Rhythm. Volume, pitch • Different intonation • Women: Wide range of pitches, rapid shift in volume and velocity (more emotional) • Men: Atonal (control, restrain) • Cultural interpretation: cultural valued behavior Summary • • • • Differences: sex and gender Biological given: contested Culturally constructed category Language reflects the way we internalize the construction of gender categories Discussion Questions • In what ways are the relationship between language and gender similar or different to the relationship between language and race? Are intonational and phonological variants an indication of sex or gender differences? Explain.