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Language, Gender and Sexuality

6. Discrimination

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about structural inequalities in language and language use and examine the way that these inequalities produce discriminatory effects in terms of gender and sexuality. As we move through the module, we consider: (i) the work of Dale Spender and the concept of 'man-made' language; (ii) the work of Sara Mills and the distinction between overt sexism in language and 'covert' (or 'indirect') sexism; (iii) Spender's first category of direct sexist language – language which ignores woman – including the use of 'generic' masculine forms in words such as 'man-made' and 'mankind'; (iv) Spender's second category of direct sexist language – language which defines and classifies women – including the concept of the linguistic domestication of women; (v) the concept of occupational stereotyping, including the use of generic, agentive forms, e.g. 'salesman' instead of 'salesperson', and the use of diminutive forms, e.g. 'actress' instead of 'actor'; (vi) the negative stereotypes about both men and women contained in sexist humour; (vii) the sexism of presupposition (e.g. 'So, have you women finished gossiping?'); and (viii) the sexism inherent in particular collocations, e.g. the frequency of 'working mother' compared to the near total absence of 'working father'.

Course

In this course, Professor Helen Sauntson (York St John University) explores language, gender and sexuality. In the first module, we provide an introduction to the field, including an overview of recent research. In the second module, we think about how gender and sexuality are constructed through language and other communicative practices used in advertising and product packaging, before turning in the third module to consider the language of gender and sexuality in the context of schools and classrooms. In the fourth module, we think about the representation of women in a particular news article, while in the fifth module, we look at how gender and sexuality are constructed through language in online media. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about structural inequalities in language and language use and examine the way that these inequalities produce discriminatory effects in terms of gender and sexuality.

Lecturer

Prof. Helen Sauntson is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at York St John University. Her main teaching and research interests are in the areas of classroom discourse analysis, language, gender and sexuality, language in education, and gender and sexuality in education. Her most recent publications include Language, Sexuality and Education (2018) and Researching Language, Gender and Sexuality: A Student Guide (2019).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Sauntson, H. (2022, April 13). Language, Gender and Sexuality - Discrimination [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/language-gender-and-sexuality-sauntson/discrimination

MLA style

Sauntson, Helen. "Language, Gender and Sexuality – Discrimination." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 13 Apr 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/language-gender-and-sexuality-sauntson/discrimination

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