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As to gender differences embodied in language, linguists have given different explanations. Lakoff (1973) put forward the theory of "deficit approach" at the earliest (Lakoff, R, 1973), thinking that female language is imperfect and with disfigurement compared to male language. Following him, Fishman(1998) created the theory of "dominance approach" (Fishman, P, 1998),pointing out that characteristics of male language reflect the dominating position of the male in society, and female language the feeling of insecurity and dependence in them. Maltz & Broker(1998), Tannen (1990) etc. then brought up the theory of "difference approach" (Maltz, D. & Broker, R., 1998),with the opinion that we should understand language difference of male and female from the angle of cultural difference. In other words, because the male and female belong to different sub-culture groups, they show discrepancy in language style. Based on this theory, many linguists point out that the male show "competitiveness" in single-sex dialogue, while female show "co-operativeness" in single-sex dialogues. (Crawford, M., 1995) The common ground of the theories above is that they emphasize the differences in the use of language by the males and females, but ignoring their compatibility. Cameron(1998), Uchida(1998) and Craword (2003)etc. brought up "social constructionist approach" according to their researching achievement respectively, which bears the opinion that different from the physiological gender, the social gender of male and female is an identity continually being constructed, is the effect of taking series of social activities relating to gender identities. ( Crawford ,1995; Bulter. 1999; Goddard& Patterson, 2000). "Male" and "female" are changeable and flexile. People can change their gender identity as a player, thus in different contexts, performing male or female characteristics in different contexts. (Coates, 1996)

October 30
Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture

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