Chapter 5 textbook note - Chapter Five Symbolic Representations of Gender pages 163-217 Language Sapir-Whorf hypothesis the language we speak

Chapter 5 textbook note - Chapter Five Symbolic...

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Chapter Five: Symbolic Representations of Gender- pages 163-217 Language Sapir-Whorf hypothesis – the language we speak predisposes us to make particular interpretations of reality A “strong version” of their theory postulates that language directly causes certain behaviour in members of a culture A “moderate” versions proposes that culture and language are intertwined in such that the meanings people ascribe to language affect their realities, their self concepts, and their world view Language serves as the principal means whereby a society disseminates its ideology on gender A change in our conception of reality involves a change in our language Ignoring To ignore is to exclude, to render invisible One of the most common linguistic techniques for ignoring women involves in use in English of the so-called generic noun man and related pronouns Research finds that pseudogeneric terms (mankind, human), pronouns, and job titles not only imply the superiority of the masculine over the feminine, but also generate masculine images, cause confusion, and affect the self-concepts of women and men Married women’s retention of their birth surnames is a recent phenomenon which has become more prevalent in Canada since the second wave of the women’s movement The tradition of adopting a husband’s surname helps perpetuate the ignoring of women’s independent existence The likelihood of a women retaining her birth name is positively correlated with her level of education Stereotyping Words highlight boundaries between women and men by selectively drawing attention to supposed gender characteristics E.g. “woman driver” The media tends to represent female athletes as women first and athletes second, male athletes are portrayed solely in terms of their athleticism The term “Mr.” does not denote a man’s marital status, but the titles “Miss” “Mrs.” And “Ms.” Announce the socially meaningful “types” of women Stereotyping in language also favours an active/passive dichotomization of men and women

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