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Academic Paper


Title: Aging and Gendering
Author: Richard Cameron
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: Unlike class or ethnicity, gender-based differences are assumed to result from social difference, not distance, yet across multiple societies, researchers find that gender separation is practiced to varying degrees. Such separation creates distance. Preference for same-gender affiliations emerges around age three, peaks in middle childhood, and lessens during the teen years, yet persists in the workplace and later life. Though reasons for this are many, Thorne (1993:51) identified one finding in these terms: "Where age separation is present, gender separation is more likely to occur." Because age segregation varies with stage of life, one may predict that gender segregation would wax and wane across the lifespan. This study investigates this prediction with three sociolinguistic variables of Puerto Rican Spanish. In turn, it explores the prediction across other varieties of Spanish, German, and English, focusing on variables that are stable, undergoing change, or in the end stage of loss.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 34, Issue 1.

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