Course module - Language and Gender
Code : LELA30902 (LI3901) Credit rating: 20 Semester : 2
Gender, as a social category, has been central to variationist sociolinguistics since the inception of the field. In addition, it is the object of close study in related fields of linguistics, such as discourse analysis and linguistic anthropology. The relationship between a speakerís gender (or sex) and language use and language change is also the subject of much general comment in society and the media. This course will provide facts, theory, and analytic tools with which to consider issues related to gender and sexuality, and their relation to language. The aim of the course is to become familiar with the main approaches to research on language and gender in sociolinguistics and to review how and why the field has come to be dominated by particular methods and questions today.
This course builds on gender-related research discussed and skills acquired in LELA20072 Language Variation and Change and expands on the findings made in social dialect research by investigating other gender-related topics and approaches. We will explore sexism in language, gender in the workplace, in educational settings and written texts. We will survey quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of gender in sociolinguistics. The course will explore ideologies of gender in society, how gender identities relate to other social identities, especially sexual identities, social power and authority. We will also investigate how talk, and talk about talk, can be used to study gender identities and gender ideologies.
Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
Knowledge and understanding: by the end of the course students should be aware of the central issues in the research on the interaction of language and gender, be familiar with and able to comment critically on the major linguistic studies within the field, and have an understanding of the standard methodologies used in this line of research.
Practical skills: students should be able to analyse existing data and evaluate the methodologies used in the studies within the field. They should be able to apply standard data analysis techniques and background concepts to new data.
Intellectual skills: students should develop skills in critically judging and evaluating evidence, recognising flaws in arguments, and assessing the merits of contrasting explanations.
Students should develop skills in interpreting information presented in the form of diagrams, tables and graphs; they should be able to apply and interpret the chi-square test of statistical significance. Students should be able to conduct a discourse analysis of written and spoken text, and they should also develop skills of successful self-directed study and research, with appropriate time-management.
Language of Assessment: English
LELA20072 Language Variation and Change. Students should also be familiar with Microsoft Excel and basic methods of inferential statistics (e.g. chi square tests).
Contact Erik Schleef for questions
Lectures: Monday 11-12 (weeks 1-3), Monday 11-13 (weeks 4-12)
Seminar (group 1): Wednesday 11-12
Seminar (group 2): Wednesday 12-13
One two hour lecture per week and one one-hour tutorial per fortnight.
One one-hour surgery hour
Language of Teaching: English
Office hours: to be scheduled
Nature and Timing of Feedback:
(1) Written comments on the research paper plus face-to-face discussion if desired (with the student understanding that this de-anonymizes the marking).
(2) Feedback on the reading tests provided through blackboard at least twice a semester.
(3) Tutorial exercises will be discussed in class.
Talbot, M. 2010. Language and gender. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Cameron, D. 2008. The myth of mars and venus: do men and women really speak different languages? Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Coates, J. (ed.). 1998. Language and gender: a reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
Eckert, P. and S. McConnell-Ginet. 2003. Language and gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Holmes, J. and M. Meyerhoff (eds). 2005. The handbook of language and gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sunderland, J. 2006. Language and gender: an advanced resource book. London and New York: Routledge.