LINGUIST List 12.1155

Fri Apr 27 2001

Books: Language and Gender

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Sean Hanrahan, Language and Gender: Representing Rape; Lanugage and Sexual Consent, by Susan Ehrlich

Message 1: Language and Gender: Representing Rape; Lanugage and Sexual Consent, by Susan Ehrlich

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 11:59:28 -0400
From: Sean Hanrahan <>
Subject: Language and Gender: Representing Rape; Lanugage and Sexual Consent, by Susan Ehrlich

Susan Ehrlich, York University, Toronto, Canada, REPRESENTING RAPE
Language and Sexual Consent
"Representing Rape is a thought provoking book about sex and violence,
language and the law--this is serious linguistics with a serious
point. Beginning from the observation that in court, events are
always mediated by the language used to describe them. Ehrlich shows
in detail how courtroom discourse about rape and sexual assault
disadvantages complainants and reinforces rape myths. Her analysis
adds a new dimension to feminist discussions of the criminal justice
system and deepens our understanding of why it often does not deliver
justice for women."
		--Deborah Cameron, Institute of Education, University of London

"This rich and rewarding book gives concrete linguistic substance to social 
constructionism and should be read not only by linguists but by anyone with 
a serious interest in gender or cultural theory."
		--Sally McConnell-Ginet, Cornell University

Representing Rape is the first feminist analysis of the language of sexual 
assault trials from the perspective of linguists. Susan Ehrlich argues that 
language is central to all legal settings - specifically sexual harassment 
and acquaintance rape hearings where linguistic descriptions of the events 
are often the only type of evidence available. Language does not simply 
reflect but helps to construct the character of the people and events under 
investigation. The book is based around a case study of the trial of a male 
student accused of two instances of sexual assault in two different 
settings: a university
tribunal and a criminal trial. This case is situated within international 
studies on rape trials and is relevant to the legal systems of the US, 
Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. She shows how 
culturally-dominant notions about rape percolate through the talk of sexual 
assault cases in a variety of settings and ultimately shape their outcome. 
Ehrlich hopes that to understand rape trials in this way is to recognize 
their capacity for change. By highlighting the underlying preconceptions and 
prejudices in the language of courtrooms today, this important book paves 
the way towards a fairer judicial system for the future.
		Routledge: March 2001: 168 pp
		HB: 0415205212 $85.00; �50.00
		PB: 0415205220 $25.95; �15.99
1. The Institutional Coerciveness of Legal Discourse
2. "My Shirt came off. I gather that he took it off": The Accused's Grammar 
of Non-Agency
3. "I see an option. I simply want to explore that option with you":
Questions and Ideological Work
4. "I didn't yell. I didn't scream": Complainants' Ineffectual Agency or
Strategic Agency?
5. Acquaintance Rape: Miscommunication or Culturally-Sanctioned Ignorance?
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----------------- Major Supporters ----------------



Academic Press



Arnold Publishers



Athelstan Publications



Blackwell Publishers




Cambridge University Press



Cascadilla Press



Distribution Fides



Elsevier Science Ltd.



John Benjamins



Kluwer Academic Publishers



Lernout & Hauspie



Lincom Europa



MIT Press



Mouton de Gruyter



Multilingual Matters



Oxford UP



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Summer Institute of Linguistics






---------Other Supporting Publishers-------------



Anthropological Linguistics



Finno-Ugrian Society



Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc., Umass



Kingston Press Ltd.



Linguistic Assoc. of Finland



Linguistic Society of Southern Africa (LSSA)



Pacific Linguistics



Pacini Editore Spa


Virittaja Aikakauslehti


Tuesday, April 24, 2001


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