Gender and Language Theory

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GENDER AND LANGUAGE THEORY

Gender is a social construct and cultural construct while sex is sex is biological distinction. On the other hand gender is quite different from sex. It is the quality referred to a sex. Since last two decades we that the term gender has got popular by the post structuralist feminists. It is complex in origin and nature.

Swann, 1998 views that biological distinction is not enough to explore the differences in sex. The variation of Masculinity and femininity develops from generations and cultures these are not fixed and reversible (Wodak 1997, Tulbot 1998).

Language in itself is cultural and social reality. It is perception of oneself and others. Speaker and listener are key agents that understand not only linguistically but also lexical constructed upon ideological grounds. Language creates the gender identities. Social status, power, authorities, identities within a particular society are constructed through language. Language is the road map for understanding the feminist discourses and texts.

 Antik views that language is not even but it is variable and complex. Linguistics resources provide us choice to construct meaningful communication (Antik, 1994). Suppose if there is atopic of “abortion” different classes of society like doctors, media, legislators will use different linguistic choices to construct language on the gender ideologies base in a society.

As regard to femininity (ies) in a society gender and language plays pivotal role in establishing and constructing these ideologies and identities (Graddol & Swan, 1989). The same reflection is found in works of western writers, colonial literature and feminist writers views all identities and femininity (ies) in their literacy works. There are two different approaches feminist and non feminists regarding gender construction. Lexical approach and generic discourse vocabulary usage is also socially construction (Lia Litosselitti, Gendrer and Language Theory and Practice, 2006).

Gender "femininity" day 124/365 365 days of me
“femininity” day 124/365 365 days of me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)