Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"
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Announced in http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-704.html AUTHOR: Sunderland, Jane TITLE: Language and Gender SUBTITLE: An Advanced Resource Book SERIES: Routledge Applied Linguistics PUBLISHER: Routledge (Taylor and Francis) YEAR: 2006
Reviewer: Gabriela Iuliana Colipcă, Department of English, Dunărea de Jos University of Galaţi, Romania
Part of a highly prestigious advanced resource book collection published by Routledge, Jane Sunderland's Language and Gender provides its readers – students and researchers alike – a comprehensive survey of research in the interdisciplinary field of language and gender studies with a specific aim at encouraging them to raise questions, to learn how to theorize their experience and to put forth original contributions that might successfully break new ground in the field. That makes it particularly appropriate for use in courses and seminar programmes addressing upper undergraduate, but also postgraduate students as well as for pursuing individual research goals in the case of teachers and researchers working in Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, Women's Studies, or even in Literature, Language Education and Psychology in higher-education institutional contexts. Its structure is designed so as to both fit into the three-fold sequential pattern characteristic of the series and to foreground the key aspects related to gender and language which are dealt with theoretically and practically. The ten units of each of the three sections – namely Introduction (Section A), Extension (Section B) and Exploration (Section C) – focus in turn on Background, Gender, Language and Research covering the following topics:
Part 1 Background, comprising:
- early work on gender and language (Unit 1) - the influence of feminism and feminist linguistics (a) (Unit 2) - the influence of feminism and feminist linguistics (b) (Unit 3).
Part 2 Gender, comprising:
- developing understandings of gender (Unit 4).
Part 3 Language, comprising:
- developing understandings of language: language change (Unit 5) - developing understandings of language: context (Unit 6) - developing understandings of language: discourse and discourses (Unit 7).
Part 4 Research, comprising:
- approaches to gender and language research (Unit 8) - data and data sites (Unit 9) - written texts (Unit 10). (p. xx)
To be more specific, the key terms and concepts related to each of these topics and pertaining to different disciplinary as well as different theoretical and methodological traditions within the framework of the gender and language field are first established against a synchronically and diachronically presented research background (Section A), that is then clarified by means of 'quotations' from 'classic' and influential texts (Section B) and finally used as a starting point for the development of research competencies by the careful contextualisation of a large number of tasks requiring either desk or field research and often laying stress on World Wide Web search and publication (Section C).
In dealing with the first topic that is 'Early work on gender and language,' Jane Sunderland starts by drawing the attention, in Unit A1, to the earliest contributions in the field which appear to have 'dressed' in academic 'clothes' certain pre-existing folk-linguistic beliefs – enclosed in proverbs, drawn on in literary works, then institutionalised in etiquette books – regarding the negative representation and evaluation of women's talk. Otto Jespersen's 1922 description of gender differences in talk as well as the more serious empirical fieldwork-based study of 'sex-exclusive' linguistic features in Koasati by Mary Haas (1944) are made special reference to in this respect, the latter being even partly reproduced for further reading in Unit B1. The diachronic presentation of the early days of gender and language studies continues then by pointing out the growing interest in the 'sex-preferential' tendencies in style shifting of sociolinguists like William Labov (1966) and Peter Trudgill (1972), who put forth the idea – later subject of feminine critique (e.g. Deborah Cameron 1992) – of the close connection, in the case of women who are more status conscious than men, between linguistic variation and 'prestige.' A further step in the pre- or non-feminist empirical study of the gender – language relation here dealt with is represented by the contributions of Susan Gal (1978), Anne Bodine (1975) and Lesley Milroy (1980). Gal and Bodine are mentioned in Section A, the former for having anticipated in her studies the later key notion of Community of Practice (CofP), the latter for having made the important point that not only the sex of the speaker should be considered, but also that of the addressee and even that of the 'spoken about.' Milroy is paid more attention to in Section B which includes several extracts from her 1980 study introducing the concept of social network and providing an interesting methodological approach based on 'relative multiplexity' and the 'density of personal networks', that she used to challenge 'the stereotype of women's greater status consciousness.' (p. 88)
As the study of the relations between gender and language has witnessed a considerable development with the rise of the feminist movement in the Western countries, the next topic is naturally 'The influence of feminism and feminist linguistics,' dealt with in two distinct sets of units laying stress on distinct approaches that dominated the field at different phases of feminism: the 'deficit approach' and the '(male) dominance approach,' on the one hand, and the '(cultural) difference approach,' on the other hand. Considering some of the consequences of the so-called 'second wave of Women's Movement' of the late 1960s and of the 1970s, Jane Sunderland first points back, in Unit A2, to a number of feminist works which, focusing on items like 'Mr. / Mrs.,' 'chairman,' 'spokesman,' the generics 'he' and 'man,' etc., described language as 'sexist', as an instrument of degrading and stereotyping women, of rendering them 'invisible.'(p. 11) Hence, the urge to promote non-sexist items in institutional codes of practice, grammars and dictionaries, even if, as Sunderland rightfully comments, they were but 'alternatives to, rather than replacements for, sexist language items.' (p. 12) It is in this context that the first outstanding studies on gender and language were published, chief among which Robin Lakoff's Language and Woman's Place (1975) and Dale Spender's Man Made Language (1980). Their pioneering work regarding 'sexist language' and 'gender differences in language use' (p. 94) is briefly presented in Unit A2, where, besides pinpointing the characteristic features of the two approaches they introduced – the 'deficit' approach and the '(male) dominance' approach –, reference is made to the critical reactions to their findings by later generations of gender and language researchers. The readers are, furthermore, given the opportunity of passing their own judgments on Lakoff's and Spender's already 'classic' texts. They have direct access, in Unit B2, to at least several extracts from the former's original introspection-based study on the gender-related aspects of language use (such as the generic 'he' as a form of pronominal neutralization in English or the use of tag questions, perceived, as a result of Lakoff's somewhat ignoring their complexity of meaning, as indicators of women's lack of confidence) as well as from the latter's interpretation, against the background of previous research, of men's and women's understandings of the 'generic he' and 'generic man'. The same unit B2 also allows to acquire further knowledge of this early stage in the development of gender and language studies by enclosing, next to the above mentioned extracts, an important part of Pamela Fishman's article 'Interaction: the work women do' (1983) that attempts a though problematic application of the methodological approach of conversation analysis (CA) for the study of male-female power relations (in particular within the marital relations framework) in order to show, on the basis of interactional strategies investigation, that women do much of the necessary work of interaction in conversation (which accounts for Fishman often being cited along other '(male) dominance' theorists).
Nevertheless, at another phase of feminism, the '(male) dominance' tradition is challenged, even accused of 'representing women as passive and as victims and of using women's ''subordination'' as a complete and ''pan-contextual'' explanation for characteristics of mixed-sex talk.' (p. 19) That is why, Jane Sunderland proceeds to introduce in Unit A3 the '(cultural) difference' approach, defined as 'the moment of feminist celebration, reclaiming and revaluing women's cultural traditions' (see Cameron 1995b: 39), in the rise of which Daniel Maltz and Ruth Borker seem to have played an important part. Due tribute is paid to their contribution by the introduction in Unit B2 of large excerpts from their 1982 article, 'A cultural approach to male-female miscommunication,' that Sunderland prefaces with a detailed discussion of the basic thesis, of the structure and of the research background, to leave then the original 'speak for itself' regarding the two researchers' appropriation of Gumperz's model of interethnic communication in order to explain male-female communication on account of men and women belonging to different subcultures promoting different speech habits.
Focus shifts in Units A4, B4 and C4 to the developing understandings of one of the two poles of the relationship examined in the book, namely the concept of gender. Having already discussed the impact of the '(male) dominance' and '(cultural) difference' approaches in the context of the rise of different feminisms, the author insists more on the rejection of the binary notion of gender, specific to these approaches, in favour of the post-structuralism influenced understandings of 'gender as identity, and identity as multiple, fluctuating and continually being constructed' (p. 22), implicitly related to the notion of discourse. To convincingly sustain the idea of contextual fluctuation of gender meanings, she analyses in Unit A4 a number of gender collocations extracted from more corpora (especially from MICASE), showing how meaning evolves from gender as 'a set of male/female differences' to gender as 'performed/ enacted/ displayed differences or tendencies' providing 'a new set of ways of viewing the social and linguistic practices of women and men.' (p. 27) More food for thought in this respect is also given by the introduction in Unit B4 of extracts from Deborah Cameron (1992), quoted for her substantial critique of the exploration of sex differences in language use in a feminist context, and from Mary Bucholtz (1999), commenting on transgressive identities, their discursive representations and the way they are approached in language and gender scholarship. The influence of post-structuralism on the study of gender and language is further expanded upon, with an emphasis on the constitutive nature of discourse and the need for self-reflexivity – illustrated in Cynthia Nelson's (2002) or Judith Butler's (1990, 1999, 2004) contributions to queer theory or Judith Baxter's development of new methodological approaches like post-structuralist discourse analysis (PDA) and feminist post-structuralist discourse analysis (FPDA) (2003). By consulting the extracts included in Unit B4, readers may better understand what queer theory is about, how it has challenged lesbian and gay studies and problematized their conception of sexual identity proposing instead the notion of performativity and a 'heterosexual/ homosexual binary' by which sexual identities are defined, or how queer theory can be applied, owing to its inquiry-based nature, to language education. As for Judith Butler's ground-breaking work, better insight into it is provided by Task C4.9 in Section C (p. 260). Given the post-structuralist aim at 'opening up' conceptions of gender beyond 'heteronormative' underpinnings (p. 28), Sunderland could not round off her overview of understandings of gender without also investigating the relationship between sex and gender, on the one hand, and gender, language and power, on the other hand. Her own ideas regarding the ways in which an analyst could separate gender from sex in her/ his thinking supplement Deborah Cameron's (1996).
The next three units in each of the three sections are dedicated to the exploration of language issues, to be more specific of language change, context and discourse/ discourses. The same diachronically conceived presentation of the shifts from one stage in the development of language and gender studies to another is looked upon from a slightly different perspective so as to point out, above all, the effects of what the author calls 'early feminist challenges to the sexist nature of various aspects of (the English) language (particularly in the 1970s), and more recent feminist and post-structuralist challenges to those early challenges.' (p. 33) Unit A5 brings back to the readers' attention the 1970s-1980s contestation of 'sexist' terms that led to their documentation in certain institutional 'codes of practice', though, as Sunderland emphasises again, they remained mere alternatives to sexist terms. The most ambitious initiative of the early wave of feminism-influenced researchers, the non-sexist American Heritage School Dictionary (published in 1972 as a result of a project initiated in 1969) is particularly enlarged upon and Unit B5, extensively quoting from Alma Graham's 1975 article 'The making of a non-sexist dictionary', provides the readers more insight into the way in which it was conceived with the aim of 'restoring the gender balance' and determining – hopefully – the public at large to use certain words with greater care. The 'linguistic turn' (p. 39) brought about by the influence of post-structuralism and of the 'third wave' of feminism on account of meaning being 'radically contextual' (Cameron 1992: 192) and strongly dependent on the addressee's response is reflected in Sara Mills's paper 'Changes in sexist language use' (2006), quoted from in Unit B5, which reinforces the idea – sustained by Sunderland as well – that context and linguistic phenomena like irony, for example, obviously impose limitations on the value of non-sexist items. That is what actually gives the difference between formally implementing non-sexist language change and the actual usage of non-sexist language and of progressive forms of which people might have become aware, but towards which they might still hold different attitudes. A good case in point is 'Ms.' that Juliane Schwarz (2003) studies to assess women's ability of conceptualising non-sexist language items.
As the importance of context has been repeatedly emphasised, in Unit A6, Sunderland tries to cast a new light on the concept by applying Dell Hymes's model of SPEAKING (setting – participants – ends – act sequence – key – instrumentalities – norms – genre) thus paving the way for the introduction in Section B of three perspectives on it. Firstly, the presentation of context as extending to 'the wider social practices surrounding the use (or 'consumption') of a written text' (p. 44) occasions the introduction of an excerpt from a study carried out by a team Jane Sunderland herself was a member of (2002), centred on the 'talk around the text' methodology in order to identify different ways in which teachers deal with 'gender critical points' throughout the lesson (irrespective of the nature of the gender representation in the text, whether progressive or traditional). Secondly, context is looked upon within the framework of the more detailed discussion of an already referred to key notion for gender and language study i.e. community of practice (CofP), clearly defined by Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet (1992). Thirdly, to illustrate context in its broadest understanding as culture, Sunderland proposes for more thorough examination the case of a South-African culture-specific linguistic practice called hlonipha, written about by Puleng Hanong Thetela (2002, 2006). Her analysis of police interviews of rape victims underlines the asymmetry of the power relations between men and women that becomes manifest in their access or lack of access to discourse (the explicitness and precision of the legal system versus the constraints of women's hlonipha culture).
Such references to context in the light of different culture-specific discursive practices ensure the smooth passage to the exploration, in Unit A7, of the wide range of meanings of discourse: from the narrowest, strictly linguistic one to the broadest, implying, besides linguistic 'traces', knowledge and certain social practices. Sunderland argues in favour of the latter, commenting upon the constitutive nature of discourse, and uses the results of her previous scholarly experience in the field – enclosed in her book entitled Gendered Discourses (2004) – to reinforce her main line of argumentation. The first extract in Unit B7 focuses precisely on setting in very clear terms the constitutive potential of discourses comprising linguistic traces, but also 'social actors' and 'social action', while the case study it encloses is illustrative for the author's interest in the categorization of discourses – into descriptive discourses, on the one hand, and interpretative general or gendered discourses, on the other – and the discussion of the different possible approaches to discourse. Details concerning the prominent features of intertextuality, intratextuality or even contradictions ('ideological dilemmas') of discourses become more salient as a result of the author's applying the critical discourse analysis approach (CDA) to several newspaper articles on wedding organisation, in the first B7 extract, and on 'celebrity fatherhood,' in the second. Of course, CDA is not the only theoretical approach to discourse that present-day research in the gender and language study field looks upon as being a viable option. Unit A7 (and not only) provides a much longer list of theoretical approaches to discourse including, among others, conversation analysis (CA), critical discourse analysis (CDA), discursive psychology and feminist post-structuralist discourse analysis (FPDA). Yet, the author seems to suggest that, for the identification and the systematic study of 'gendered discourses,' CDA and FPDA would be the most appropriate as they see such discoursal representations/ constructions of women and men as 'subject positioning' the individuals / groups concerned. (p. 53) As the illustration of the way CDA functions is to be found in the excerpts selected from her own previous work, the stress laid on FPDA turns out a perfect opportunity for her to go back to Judith Baxter's contribution (2003), which she quotes fragmentarily in Unit B7 in order to help her readers better grasp the FPDA principles (i.e. self-reflexivity; a deconstructionist post-structuralist 'advocacy of textual interplay' and the commitment to a feminist focus.)
In the last three-unit set of each section in the book, Jane Sunderland actually continues to enlarge upon the various ways of approaching topics related to the interdisciplinary gender and language field of study both theoretically (resorting to CA, CDA, corpus linguistics, FPDA, discursive psychology, etc.) and methodologically (using introspection, sociolinguistic surveys, focus groups, observation, collection/ analysis of data, etc.). The particular development of corpus linguistics and the more and more extensive use to which it seems to be put in research projects in the field (often in association with other approaches like CDA, for instance) determines her to offer more information on the methodologies subsumed to it, on its functions and utility at first in Unit A8, then in Unit B8, where, for practical illustration, she quotes from an article by Paul Rayson, Geoffrey Leech and Mary Hodges (1997) investigating 'social differentiation in the use of English vocabulary through the spoken English sub-corpus of the British National Corpus' (p. 179), and finally in the tasks in Unit C8. At this point, however, considering the gradual paradigmatic shifts in the 'history' of gender and language as a field of study and the variety of approaches and methodologies used, Sunderland cannot ignore the following questions raising against a feminism-oriented background: Which particular approach or methodology is more (in)appropriate? What should be the relation between the researchers and the research participants? It is in this context that she compares the suitability of CDA, FPDA and CA and presents, even if briefly, the three positions referred to as 'ethics', 'advocacy' and 'empowerment' (p. 61). As the relationship between CA, in particular, and feminism has been often questioned, the author finds it proper to include in Unit B8 two extracts regarding it. Of a more theoretical nature, Elizabeth Stokoe and Janet Smithson's work (2001) defends the argument according to which, though problematic for feminist research, CA may be 'a useful tool for making claims about gender which are grounded in speakers' orientations' (p. 186) conveyed by explicit and/or implicit references or indexes. Celia Kitzinger's (2000) also maintains the possibility of adapting CA to serve feminist purposes, yet it lays more stress on the practical aspect, showing how CA techniques may be applied to gain a better understanding – from a feminist perspective, of course – of how 'coming out' (with its implications for sexual identity) is achieved and reacted to.
That the choice of a certain approach and/ or methodology is often implicitly related to the type of data and data sites investigated is particularly emphasised in Units A9, B9 and C9, respectively. The categorization of data types acquires, hence, particular importance and Unit A9 details the features and functions of naturally occurring data, collected through the observation of gendered (linguistic) behaviour, and of elicited data, revealing 'understandings' of gender (perceptions, attitudes, feelings, beliefs, intentions, reasons, etc.) through questionnaires, focus groups, accounts, diaries or stimulated recall. Equally important is the choice of fruitful epistemological sites and Sunderland traces back the changes in their selection paralleling the shift from one dominant paradigm to another: from private, mixed-sex conversation associated with the '(male) dominance' model to the talk of single-sex groups preferred in the '(cultural) difference' model and, eventually, to CofPs and a wide range of written texts, public contexts, etc. that allow focusing on discourse(s), gender identity, construction and performance. Drawing the readers' attention to the necessity of solidly motivating the choice of the epistemological site (and of the data to be analysed as well), she also takes care to distinguish between: material (genre-related) epistemological sites and conceptual epistemological sites (though they often overlap and/ or combine); 'traditional gender' and 'non-traditional gender' sites; and, finally, considering the broader sense of events as epistemological sites, 'representative'('typical') and 'telling' ('unrepresentative, atypical') cases. Paving the way for practical applications involving the study of different epistemological sites (see Unit C9), Unit B9 both fixes many of the previously discussed aspects and provides an example of successful analysis by introducing Nigel Edley's exploration, within the discursive psychology framework, of the broad conceptual epistemological site of masculinity – defined as a culturally determined 'discursive accomplishment' the performance of which may become habitual or routinized – and of key concepts related to it, i.e. interpretative repertoires, ideological dilemmas and subject positions (2001).
If the sample of discoursal analysis in Unit B9 and the further practice tasks in Unit C9 lay the stress on the evaluation and interpretation of spoken data, the final set of units, A10, B10 and C10, looks at written texts as epistemological sites. Sunderland points out the extent to which certain particular categories of texts – such as language textbooks, dictionaries, literary texts (here including children's books), newspaper/ magazine articles and advertisements – have turned out extremely fruitful at different phases in the development of the gender and language field of study. The second extract in Unit B10, taken from Bronwyn Davies's book Frogs and Snails and Feminist Tales (1989), focusing on young children's understandings of gender and of its peculiar constructions in feminist fairy tales, adds to the long list of cases of written text analysis used for different demonstrational purposes in other extracts included in this resource book. Furthermore, the author comments on the benefits of multi-modality analysis which presupposes the investigation of an association of written and spoken words or of written words and visuals. Joanna Thornborrow's examination, mainly in linguistic terms, of gender positions in advertising (1994), based on a comparative approach to two Filofax advertisements (one aimed at women, the other aimed at men), is a perfect illustration of the way words – often in association with appropriately chosen images – may contribute to the reinforcement of behavioural stereotypes. That is why it is quoted as a representative case in Unit B10. Special reference is also made to a relatively new form of written text that is computer-mediated communication (CMC) – here including e-mail texts, internet discussion sites, chat rooms, Instant Messenger, etc. – which may serve as a fruitful epistemological site for the study of 'gender differences' and identity construction. Unit B10 provides as an illustration Mary Bucholtz's 2002 article on 'geek feminism' as a variety of cyberfeminism brought into discussion in chat rooms, while Unit C10 includes, among other tasks, the exploration of CMC and e-mail jokes about gender and gender relations. The investigation of texts as epistemological sites is finally taken as far as considering toys, for example, as texts (Task C10. 16 in Unit C10), paving thus the way for a wider range of applications in the gender and language field.
Jane Sunderland's resource book has a complex, yet clearly organised structure. On the one hand, for a better understanding of the main concerns of language and gender as an interdisciplinary field of study, the author groups them in what she calls four distinct parts, Background, Gender, Language and Research to which she consistently sticks in passing from one section to another, thus ensuring the coherence of her approach. On the other hand, as the book has been obviously designed to serve didactic purposes, its three sections enable the readers to build up solid theoretical knowledge and then put it effectively into practice in solving a number of tasks.
Drawing on an impressive bibliographical list, the ten units of the first section summarize the findings of some of the most important studies which have marked the development of research regarding the language-gender relations, discuss paradigmatic shifts in theory and present evidence to support the main line of argumentation. Though one might not expect this overview of understandings of key concepts like gender, context, discourse etc. and of the wide range of approaches to them to be highly innovative, the author manages to give it an original touch by adding personal comments on the strengths and/ or weaknesses of certain theories, by using inventive practical analysis exercises to make her point (as it is the case of her subtly deducing the varied meanings of gender from her analysis of gender collocates, for example – pp. 24-7) and by establishing from the very beginning a close connection with her readers whom she offers a though-provoking reading constantly marked by challenging follow-up and/ or reflection tasks. There are a few inadvertences in this section – e.g. though announced as being of outmost importance, Maltz and Borker's contribution is rather superficially mentioned in Unit A3 (pp. 18-20) –, but they are made up for by the introduction of extensive quotations in the B Units and of reading tasks in the C Units. (There is but one case which perhaps could still have been better handled, namely that of Janet Holmes' contribution. Despite her being mentioned together with J. Coates and D. Tannen among the '(cultural) difference' approach representatives, she is no longer referred to either in Unit B3 or in Unit C3 and further references to her work in other units also fail to cast more light on her work.)
The second section (B) gives the readers access to extracts from several original studies already referred to in section A or drawing on and sustaining some of the previously introduced viewpoints. The extracts are well set in their research context by means of preliminary and final comments by Jane Sunderland, presenting, on the one hand, the general structure of the works they are taken from, discussing the main research goals and research methods applied, and, on the other hand, reinforcing the conclusions reached and establishing links with other previous and/or subsequent studies in the field that either develop on their strengths or critique their weaknesses. It is true that, in certain cases, Jane Sunderland chooses to refrain from any final comments; yet their absence is also part of her strategy meant to provoke the readers to engage critically with the text, a strategy which mainly relies on the numerous 'Before you read,' 'While you read' and 'After you've read' tasks.
The third section (C) displays a wide range of well-developed tasks, implying, in most of the cases, several steps, often including further reading, interview taping, transcribing and analyzing data, as well as writing tasks the results of which the students are encouraged to post on the Gender and Language web site. As a matter of fact, that the readers should use internet sources for their individual research and make then their research known on the internet appears (to me at least) to be one of the most noteworthy practical suggestions put forth in this book.
Again, one could spot in section C certain shortcomings. For instance, one peculiar task in C1 (pp. 231-2) plays on the notion of 'accommodation' put forth by Giles and Coupland (1991), which is not introduced and /or discussed in any of the A1 or B1 corresponding sections. Of course, this might not raise serious difficulties as the readers of the book might be familiar with the notion from their previous readings in sociolinguistics (or following the requirements under step 1, they might find out more in this respect by doing research on their own); yet, it might appear somewhat problematic, leaving them in the impossibility of establishing connections with the rest of the issues presented under the topic 'Early work on gender and language.' Task C3.6 (p. 251) brings forward, for the first time in the book, Beattie's framework that readers should apply for the analysis of 'successful speaker switches'. Indeed, they are suggested, from the very first steps of the task, to read later studies of gender and overlapping speech, Beattie's here included; yet, it might also have been useful to provide, at least in a nutshell, basic information about this methodological approach (as Sunderland did in the case of the transcription system, for instance, – see pp. 226-7) thus helping the readers better understand and then apply it practically in solving the respective task. Then, even if three of the four steps of Task C8.11 (p. 297) require further reading on discursive psychology, giving thus the readers the opportunity to get familiar with it in detail, it is still somewhat awkward to find a task focused on this approach in Unit 8 although the author's theoretical presentation and extract selection regarding it are included in Units A9 and B9. (As a matter of fact, the author realized it and felt compelled to justify her choice in a few words.) Finally, there is a small inadvertence affecting the structure of Task C9.3 (pp. 302-3) in which step four seems to be completely missing. Nevertheless, the number of such cases is so small that it cannot overshadow the merits of the rest. Most of the tasks in Section C help establish useful links with the theoretical background as presented in Sections A and B, require further readings to enable the readers enlarge the scope of their knowledge, encourage the practice of different methodological approaches for the investigation of more numerous epistemological sites and provide suggestions for new individual or team research projects. Furthermore, another praiseworthy aspect is that, though most of the tasks presuppose the study of gender representations in English, there are some by means of which Jane Sunderland tries to raise interest in and to stimulate research in gender constructions in other languages as well. Readers are provided with models in this respect by the already quoted articles by M. Haas on Koasati and by P. Hanong Thetela on Southern African linguistic patterns, as well as by the numerous sources on gendered Japanese indicated for further reading on pp. 270-1.
Sometimes, there occur little inadvertences between the references as preceding the extracts from Section B and, respectively, as given in the final bibliographical list: different publishing houses mentioned – e.g. on p. 94 Robin Lakoff's study is said to be published by Colophon Books, but in the bibliographical list the publishing house mentioned is Harper & Row.; different places of publication – e.g. in the case of Joanna Thornborrow's article, Section B mentions as the place of publication Hemel Hempstead, whereas the bibliographical list indicates instead London; the editors are not mentioned in the bibliographical list reference in the case of Mary Bucholtz's article 'Geek feminism'; a full reference is omitted from the final bibliographical list, namely that to A. Graham's article; and the reference to S. Mills's article 'Changes in sexist language use' is not given in full in Unit B5 and missing from the final bibliographical list.
Nonetheless, I have to stress out that these small imperfections do not diminish in the least the qualities of Jane Sunderland's resource book which is well-documented, comprehensive, user-friendly and challenging. Therefore, I highly recommend it for both teaching and research purposes.
Baxter, J. (2003) Positioning Gender in Discourse: a feminist methodology. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bodine, A. (1975) 'Sex differentiation in language,' in B. Thorne and N. Henley (eds) Language and Sex: difference and dominance. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, pp. 130-51.
Bucholtz M. (1999) 'Bad examples: transgression and progress in language and gender studies,' in M. Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and L. Sutton (eds) Reinventing Identities: the gendered self in discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.
_____ (2002) 'Geek feminism,' in S. Benor et al. (eds) Gendered Practices in Language: proceedings of the First IGALA Conference. Stanford, Calif.: CSLI Publications, pp. 277-307.
Butler, J. (1999) Gender Trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity. First published 1990. New York: Routledge.
_____ (2004) Undoing Gender. London: Routledge.
Cameron, D. (1992) Feminism and Linguistic Theory, 2nd edn. London: Macmillan.
_____ (1995b) 'Rethinking language and gender studies: some issues for the 1990s,' in S. Mills (ed.) Language and Gender: interdisciplinary perspectives. Harlow: Longman, pp. 31-44.
_____ (1996) 'The language-gender interface: challenging co-optation,' in V. Bergvall, J. M. Bing and A. Freed (eds.) Rethinking Language and Gender Research. London: Longman, pp. 31-53.
Davies, B. (1989) Frogs and Snails and Feminist Tales: pre-school children and gender. Sydney: Allen & Unwin (2nd edition 2003).
Eckert, P. and McConnell-Ginet, S.(1992) 'Communities of practice: where language, gender, and power all live,' in K. Hall et al. (eds.) Locating Power: proceedings of the Second Berkeley Women and Language Conference. Berkeley, Calif.: Women and Language Group, pp. 89-99.
Edley, N. (2001) 'Analysing masculinity: interpretative repertoires, ideological dilemmas and subject positions,' in M. Wetherell, S. Taylor and S. Yates (eds.) Discourse as Data. London: Sage/ Open University Press, pp. 189-228.
Fishman, P.(1983) 'Interaction: the work women do,' in B. Thorne et al. (eds.) Language, Gender and Society. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, pp. 89-101. First published 1978 in Social Problems 25: 397-406.
Gal, S.(1978) 'Peasant men can't get wives: language change and sex roles in a bilingual community,' Language in Society 7: 1-17.
Giles, H. and Coupland, N. (1991) Language: contexts and consequences. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Graham, A. (1975) 'The making of a non-sexist dictionary,' in B. Thorne and N. Henley (eds.) Language and Sex: difference and dominance. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, pp. 57-63.
Haas, M. (1944) 'Men's and women's speech in Koasati,' Language 20: 142-9.
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ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Gabriela Iuliana Colipcă is Senior Lecturer at the Department of English of "Dunărea de Jos" University of Galaţi, Romania. She currently teaches English literature and style in fiction. Her research interests are comparative literature, literary criticism, cultural studies, and gender studies.