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Bonnie McElhinny

In: Gender and Discourse

Chapter 5: Ideologies of Public and Private Language in Sociolinguistics

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Ideologies of Public and Private Language in Sociolinguistics
Ideologies of public and private language in sociolinguistics
BonnieMcElhinny

The early stages of feminist thought in a discipline are typically associated with filling in gaps: correcting sexist biases in the existing literature and creating new topics out of women's experience. In feminist sociolinguistics examples of such research include the study of gossip (for example, Harding, 1975), of sexist language (Lakoff, 1975), and of women's consciousness-raising groups (Kalcik, 1974). However, as Thorne and Stacey note, as feminist work proceeds in a discipline ‘feminists discover 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’ (1993: 168). The task of feminist scholars thus goes beyond ...

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