WGS 345 • 17-LANGUAGE AND GENDER-W
Who talks more, men or women? Who interrupts more often? Which sex uses more proper speech? How do people signal social attitudes in choosing pronouns to refer to mixed-sex groups? How are gender and sexual orientation constructed in linguistic interaction. For thirty years, sex- and gender-related differences in language and communicative styles have been increasingly examined in linguistic studies. Such research indicates that the answers to these questions are more complicated than you might expect. In this course, we will examine some of the research that show how social expectations and power structures intersect to influence the speech women and men use in particular social situations. We will also look at and discuss current research on how people use language to construct social gender and at how historical, economic, and social situations have shaped the language women and men use.