Language and Gender: An Introduction
Brand: Polity

Language and Gender: An Introduction

  • Publish Date: 1999-01-12
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Mary Talbot

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This is an up-to-date textbook in the growing area of language and gender. It will be popular with students for its accessibility and with teachers for the range and depth it achieves in a single volume. The book contains detailed discussion of work in the field, including recent research that has previously not been readily available to undergraduates or the general reader. A range of approaches is covered at an introductory level, presenting sometimes difficult and complex issues in an understandable way. Each chapter concludes with a list of recommended readings so that each topic can be taken further.

The emphasis is on recent research, with a preliminary grounding in early 'classic' studies in the field. Talbot examines the language used by women and men in a variety of speech situations and genres. For this, she draws on studies working within the Anglo-American tradition of research on language and gender. Issues and problems addressed include the difficulties arising from accounting for gender differences in terms of dichotomies like public vs private and informational vs affective - and, not least, the trouble with looking for 'differences' at all.

Another group of chapters present recent, critical perspectives on language and gender grounded in European theories of discourse and subjectivity, with particular attention to Critical Discourse Analysis. These chapters examine not gender difference but the construction of gender identities. They reflect both the high degree of interest in mass media and popular culture found in recent language and gender research and the preoccupation with discourse and social change that is central to Critical Discourse Analysis.


The book will become a key textbook for undergraduates and postgraduates in linguisitics, sociolinguistics, cultural and media studies, gender and women's studies and communication studies. The book is usable by students for whom it is their first, or only, contact with sociolinguistics.


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