IDS U800.09, Spring 1988
Profs.  Mary Parlee and Ana Celia Zentella

Language, Gender, and Social Identity

In this course we will examine the role of language use and 
other communicative phenomena in the construction and 
reproduction of the social identities of groups and persons 
characterized by differences in access to and control over 
social and cultural resources.  Readings will be drawn from 
empirical and theoretical work in sociolinguistics, 
psycholinguistics, and interdisciplinary feminist scholarship 
to provide a basis for the integration of individual 
consciousness, situated talk, and social structure.  Beginning 
with research on the ways conceptions of gender are 
inherent in the structure of language, we will examine in 
detail the creation of social identities through language use, 
focusing on research on genderlects, power, cross-cultural 
comparisons, and ethnic identity among U.S. minorities. 
Sustained consideration will be given to the prevalent 
methodologies in research on these topics, and future 
directions for work on language and social identities will be 

Depending upon the interests and backgrounds of class 
members, a fieldwork project on one of the topics covered in 
the course may be carried out.

The following books are recommended for purchase:

   Gumperz, JJ (Ed.),  Language and Social Identity.  New 
York:  Cambridge University Press, 1982.  (LSI)
   Lakoff, R.  Language and Women's Place.  New York: 
Harper Colophon Books, 1975.  (LWP)
   Philips, SU, Steele, C, and Tanz, C (Eds.),  Language, Gender, 
and Sex in Comparative Perspective.  New York:  Cambridge 
University Press, 1987.  (LGSCP)
   Thorne, B,  Kramarae, C, and Henley, NM (Eds.), Language, 
Gender, and Society.  New York:  Newbury House Publishers 
(a division of Harper and Row Publishers), 1983.  (LGS)
   Additional readings will be drawn from:  Thorne, B and 
Henley, NM  (Eds.), Language and Sex:  Difference and 
Dominance.  Rowley, MA:  Newbury House Publishers, 1975. 

February 3:  Introduction to the course
February 10: 
I.  Sex bias and the structure of language
   Lakoff, R.  In LWP, pp 19-42.
   Thorne, B, Kramerae, C, and Henley, NM.  Language, gender, 
and society:  opening a second decade of research.  In LGS, 
pp 7-24.
   McConnell-Ginet, S.  Feminism in Linguistics.  In PA 
Treichler, C Kramereae, and B Stafford (Eds.),  Alma Mater: 
Theory and Practice in Feminist Scholarship.  Urbana: 
University of Illinois Press, 1985, pp 159-176.
   Martyna, W.  Beyond the he/man approach:  The case for 
nonsexist language.  In LGS, pp 25-38.
   MacKay, DG.  Prescriptive grammar and the pronoun 
problem.  In LGS, pp 38-53.

February 17:
   Schultz, MR.  The semantic derogation of woman.  In LSDD, 
pp 64-75.
   Graham, A.  The making of a nonsexist dictionary.  In LSDD, 
pp 57-63.
   Bodine, A.  Sex differentiation in language.  In LSDD, pp 
   Henley, NM.  Sex bias in language:  what we don't know. 
Invited address presented at the Eastern Psychological 
Association, New York, April, 1986.  (Xerox on reserve).
   Recommended:  Cohn, C.  Sex and death in the rational 
world of defense intellectuals.  SIGNS:  Journal of Women in 
Culture and Society, 1987, 12(4), pp 687-718.

(In-class project)

II.  Language Use, Power, and Social Identity
February 24:
A)  Genderlects
   Lakoff, R.  In LWP, pp 51-64.
   McConnell-Ginet, S.  Intonation in a man's world.  In LGS, 
pp 69-88.
   Swacker, M.  The sex of the speaker as a sociolinguistic 
variable.  In LSDD, pp 76-83.
   O'Barr, WM and Atkins, BK.  "Women's language" or 
"powerless language?"  In S McConnell-Ginet, R Borker, and N 
Furman (Eds.),  Women and language in literature and 
society.  New York:  Praeger, 1980, pp 93-110.

March 2, 9, 16:
B)  Power
   Lakoff, R.  In LWP, pp 64-83.
   Brown, P.  How and why are women polite:  Some evidence 
from a Mayan community.  In S McConnell-Ginet, R Borker, 
and N Furman (Eds.),  op cit pp 111-136
   Henley, NM.  Power, sex, and nonverbal communication.  In 
LSDD, pp 184-202.
   Goffman, E.  Gender Advertisements.  Cambridge, MA: 
Harvard University Press, 1979, pp 10-27.
   Elshtain, JB.  Femininst discourse and its discontents: 
language, power, and meaning.  SIGNS:  Journal of Women in 
Culture and Society, 1982, 7(3)  Spring, pp 603-621.

C)  Male-Female Interactions
   West, C and Zimmerman, DH.  Small insults:  A study of 
interruptions in cross-sex conversations between 
unacquainted persons.  In LGS, pp 103-118.
   Fishman, PM.  Interaciton:  The work women do.  In LGS, 
pp  89-102.
   Bennett, A.  Strategies and counterstrategies in the use of 
yes-no questions in discourse.  In LSI, pp 95-107.
   Sattel, JW.  Men, inexpressiveness, and power.  In LGS, pp 
   Brooks Gardener, C.  Passing by:  Street remarks, address 
rights and the urban female.  In J Baugh and J Sherzer (Eds.), 
Language in use.  Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1983, 
pp 148-165.
   Wolfson, N and Manes, J.  "Don't 'dear' me!".  In S 
McConnell-Ginet, R Borker, and N Furman (Eds.) , op cit pp 

March 23:
D)  Cross-Cultural Research
   Philips, S.  Introductions to Part I.  In LGSCP, pp 15-26.
   Maltz, DN. and Borker, RA.  A cultural approach to male-
female miscommunication.  In LSI, pp 195, 216.
   Tannen, D.  Ethnic style in male-female conversation.  In 
LSI, pp 217-231.
   Young, LWL.  Instcrutability revisited.  In LSI, pp 72-81.

March 30:
E)  Language and Ethnic Identity among US Minorities
   Stanback, MH.  Language and Black woman's place" 
Evidence from the Black middle class.  In PA Treichler, C 
Kramerae, and B Stafford (Eds.), op cit, pp 177-196.
   Zentella, AC.  Language and female identity in the Puerto 
Rican Community.  In J. Penfield (Ed.),  Women and Language 
in Transition.  Albany:  SUNY Press, 1987, pp 167-180.
   Nichols, PC.  Linguistic options and choices for Black 
women in the rural South.  In LGS, pp 54-68.
   Klee, CA.  Differential language usage patterns by males 
and females in a rural community in the Rio Grande Valley. 
In T Morgan, B Van Patten, and J Lee (Eds.).  Language and 
Language Use:  Studies in Spanish.  Washington DC: 
University Press of America, forthcoming, pp 125-145. 
(Xerox on reserve).
   Patella, V and Kuvlesky, WP.  Situational variation in 
language pattrns of Mexican American boys and girls.  Social 
Science Quarterly, 1973, Vol. 53, March, 855-864.

III.  Methodological Approaches to the Study of Language 
                           and Social Identity
April 13:
A)  Quantitative Research
   Trudgill, P.  Sex, covert prestige, and linguistic change in 
the urban British of Norwich.  In LSDD, pp 88-104.
   Milroy.  Social context of speech events.  pp 71-84, 107-

(Collect data for in-class analysis)

   IJSL 17.  American Minority Women in Sociolinguistic 
Perspective.  Betty Lou DuBois and Isabel Crouch (Eds.) 
Mouton, 1978.

April 20 and 27:
B)  Qualitative Research
   Gumperz, JJ and Cook-Gumperz, J.  Introduction:  language 
and the communication of social identity.  In LSI, pp 1-21.
   Jupp, TC, Rogerts, C and Cook-Gumperz, J.  Language and 
disadvantage:  the hidden processes.  In LSI, pp 232-256.
   Akinnaso, FN and Ajirotutu, CS.  Performance and ethnic 
style in job interviews.  In LSI, pp 119-144.
   Hansell, M and Ajirotutu, CS.  Negotiating interpretations in 
interethnic settings.  In LSI, pp 119-144.

(In-class project)

May 4:
IV.  New Directions
   Shapiro, F.  Historical notes on the vocabulary of the 
women's movement.  American Speech, Spring, 1985.
   Daley, M.  Wickedary.  Boston:  Beacon Press, 1987.
   Penfield, J.  (Ed.),  Women and Language in Transition. 
Albany:  SUNY Press, 1987  (selections to be assigned).
   Miller, C.  and Swift, K.  Words and Women:  New Language 
in New Times.  Garden City, NY:  Doubleday, 1976. 
(selections to be assigned).
   American Psychological Association, Publication Manual, 
Guidelines for nonsexist language use.

May 11:
V.  Toward an Integration

Discussion of individual projects/papers.

Additional Bibliography:
   Cameron, Deborah.  Feminism and Linguistic Theory.  New 
York:  St.  Martin's Press.  1985.
   Coates, Jennifer.  Women, Men and Language:  A 
Sociolinguistic account of sex differences in language.  New 
York:  Longman.  1986.
   Hill, Alette Olin.  Mother Tongue, Father Time:  A decade of 
linguistic revolt.  Bloomington:  Indiana University Press. 
   Frank, Francine and Frank Anshen.  Albany:  SUNY 1983.
   Holmes, J.  "Functions of 'you know' in women's and men's 
speech."  Language in Society 15(1), March 1986.
   Kipers, PS, "Gender and Topic."  Language in Society. 16(4), 
Dec. 1987.
   Penfield, Joyce (Ed.)  Women and Language in Transition. 
Albany:  SUNY Press, 1987.
   Shapiro, Fred.  "Historical Notes on the Vocabulary of the 
Women's Movement".  American Speech.  Spring 1985.
  Smith, Philip.  Language, the Sexes and Society.  Oxford: 
Basil Blackwell.  1985.

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