Katja's Reviews > Language and Gender

Language and Gender by Penelope Eckert
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's review
Nov 19, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: en, non-fiction, z-lib, linguistics

I have not read the whole book but skimmed over most chapters, my opinion is definitely biased as from the start I lacked motivation to read the book thoroughly. The book is definitely well-written and seems easy to follow, my criticism is that in many places I do not see the point and fail to understand what exactly the authors want to achieve, other than describing certain language traits. This is also true for the book overall. It is well-known that people tend to (over-)generalize because generalizations make life easier as they save us the effort of thinking. Some generalizations are correct most times, some are wrong from the start. Gender is one of the many social aspects involved in numerous generalizations or stereotypes, other aspects being race, age, nationality, etc. Stereotypes are clearly reflected in the language, so a similar book could have been written about language and race or age or many other things, I am not sure whether gender would be the most interesting topic to investigate from the linguistic point of view. Concerning how influential this study may become outside of linguistics, it is unclear to me whether conscious changes in the language are effective to overcome false and harmful generalizations, but I doubt they are nearly as effective as blind tests which have indeed crashed many stereotypes.

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message 1: by Soro (new)

Soro Joel I have been through some of yours commentaries and I do really like them. I am sure you can help me. I sent you a request and hope that I will hear about you soon.

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