• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The contributors to this collection offer an essential introduction to the ways in which feminist linguistics and critical discourse analysis have contributed to our understanding of gender and sex. By examining how these perspectives have been applied to these concepts, the contributors provide both a review of the literature, as well as an opportunity to follow the most recent debates in this area. Gender and Discourse brings together European, American and Australian traditions of research. Through an analysis of a range of `real' data, the contributors demonstrate the relevance of these theoretical and methodological insights for gender research in particular and social practice in general.

Introduction: Some Important Issues in the Research of Gender and Discourse
Introduction: Some important issues in the research of gender and discourse
Aims and Goals

Research on gender and sex in sociolinguistics and discourse analysis started in the early 1970s. Investigators examined two domains of language behaviour in particular: speech behaviour of men and women on the phonological level, and interactions (conversational styles) between women and men in discourse. In this introduction, I will first discuss some concepts of ‘gender/sex’ and ‘discourse’ and suggest possible working definitions. In addition, I would like to trace briefly the theoretical development of gender studies in feminist linguistics, thereby providing a general introductory framework for this volume (see Wodak and Benke, 1996; Holmes, 1996).

Studies of gender-specific language behaviour are often contradictory ...

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