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1. Theorizing Gender in Sociolinguistics and Linguistic Anthropology

BONNIE MCELHINNY


Subject Anthropology
Sociolinguistics » Language and Gender

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631225034.2004.00002.x


Extract

Increasingly, feminist scholars in linguistics and in other fields have realized that we must ask how empirical gaps come to be created. Feminist scholars have discovered “that many gaps were there for a reason, i.e. that existing paradigms systematically ignore or erase the significance of women's experiences and the organization of gender” ( Thorne and Stacey 1993 : 168). The task of feminist scholarship thus goes beyond simply adding discussions of women and women's experiences into our disciplines, to encompass the broader task of interrogating and transforming existing conceptual schemes. In history, for instance, feminist and other radical scholars have challenged the assumption that history is primarily about politics, public policy, and famous individuals. The inclusion of women has led to a rethinking of the notion of historical periodization itself, since historical turning points are not necessarily the same for women as for men Kelly-Gadol 1977 . In literature, feminist scholars have extended their project from the critique of texts by male authors and the recovery of texts written by female authors to asking questions about how literary periods and notions of dominant aesthetic modes are established, and thus how certain writers, texts, and genres become valued as central or canonical (see e.g. Feldman and Kelley 1995 ). Feminist anthropologists have also asked questions ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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