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By Susan Ehrlich, Miriam Meyerhoff, Janet Holmes

The guide of Language and Gender is a suite of articles written by means of top experts within the box that examines the dynamic ways that men and women improve and deal with gendered identities via their speak. offers a accomplished, updated, and stimulating photograph of the sphere for college kids and researchers in a variety of disciplines positive aspects info and case reports from interactions in several social contexts and from various diverse groups

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Extra info for The Handbook of Language and Gender (Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics)

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G. Kapchan 1996: 19). The methodological recommendation to study gender "in cross-sex interaction between potentially sexually accessible interlocutors" illustrates how the idea of just two genders can be conflated with a presumption of heterosexuality. -^ Assumptions about heterosexuality as normative thus directly inform notions of sex and gender, while normative notions of sex and gender inform those about heterosexuality. To focus only on studying gender, then, in heterosexual interactions may be quite misleading: gender differences may be exaggerated in such interactions.

They help[ed] sustain a sense of dualism in the face of enormous variation and complex circumstances" (1990:107). But the "truth," she argues, turned out to be much more complex: we need, she maintains, to understand when gender is largely irrelevant, and when it seems central, when gender is marked and when it is unmarked, for it is only in "developing a sense of the whole and attending to the waning as well as the waxing of gender salience [that] we can specify not only the social relations that uphold but also those that undermine the construction of gender as binary opposition" (1990: 108).

It is not only. 22 Bonnie McElhinny however, analytic concepts which are distinctively sociolinguistic that require feminist re-examination. We also need to consider how certain basic categories of analysis found in other disciplines are implemented in our own. I argue here that the fundamental feminist category of "gender," as implemented in sociolinguistics, has often included certain political and social assumptions which prematurely narrow our area of inquiry. Early sociolinguistic studies of gender often assumed that gender should be studied where it was most salient, and that gender was most salient "in cross-sex interaction between potentially sexually accessible interlocutors, or same-sex interaction in gender-specific tasks" (Brown and Levinson 1983: 53).

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