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Title: Femininity, Feminism and Gendered Discourse
Subtitle: A Selected and Edited Collection of Papers from the Fifth International Language and Gender Association Conference (IGALA5)
Edited By: Janet Holmes
Meredith Marra

The chapters in this book illustrate a range of cutting edge research in
language and gender studies, with contributions from a number of
internationally recognised experts. The three themes, femininity, feminism
and gendered discourse are central to research in language and gender, and
the book thus makes a valuable contribution to a number of current debates.

Femininity comprises a central aspect of gender performance and the process
of “gendering” individuals is on-going and unavoidable. For many people,
the word “femininity” has associations with “frilly pink party dresses,”
with demureness, deference, and lack of power and influence. The first
section of this book demonstrates some alternative conceptions of
femininity, and a range of ways in which femininity is performed in
different contexts and cultures. The analyses illustrate that we are all
continually performing aspects of femininity (and masculinity) in flexible,
dynamic, ambiguous, predictable and unpredictable ways.

Language and gender research has a long tradition of engagement with the
political, and specifically with feminism and feminist goals. The chapters
in the second section of this book demonstrate the value of identifying
gendered patterns in order to challenge their potentially repressive
effects in social interaction in a range of spheres. The researchers
analyse contemporary international evidence of sexism in language use,
including material from Japanese spam emails expressing sexual desire, and
from media reporting on male and female candidates in the 2007 French

The final section of this book focuses on the different ways in which we
negotiate our gender through discourse. Gender is just one of many facets
of our intrinsically hybridized social identities. Nevertheless, it is a
very significant facet, a salient dimension in everyday life, with a
pervasive social influence on everything we do and say. Interaction is
typically viewed through “gendered” spectacles much of the time. The
chapters in the third section focus in detail on diverse ways in which
gender is constructed through discourse, examining the interaction between
individual agency and the larger constraining social structures, including
socio-cultural norms, within which that agency is enacted.

Finally, the different contributions in this book represent research from a
multiplicity of geographic and cultural backgrounds, supporting efforts to
internationalise language and gender research, and to raise awareness of
empirical studies undertaken in a wide range of linguistic and cultural

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9781443823647
Pages: 260
Prices: U.S. $ 59.99