Volume title: Language and Gender
Dr Michael Haugh
Michael Haugh is a Senior Lecturer convening the International English program in the School of Languages and Linguistics at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. His main research interests include pragmatics and intercultural communication. He has published work in the Journal of Pragmatics, Intercultural Pragmatics, Pragmatics, Multilingua, Journal of Politeness Research, and Discourse, and is co-editing a forthcoming bookFace, Communication and Social Interaction (Equinox), as well as editing a special issue on 'Intention in pragmatics' for Intercultural Pragmatics (2008).
Dr Susana Eisenchlas
Susana Eisenchlas is a Senior Lecturer convening the Linguistics program in the School of Languages and Linguistics at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Her Doctoral Dissertation was in the area of syntactic theory and first language acquisition. She also conducts research and publishes in the area of internationalisation of the curriculum and the teaching of intercultural communication from a linguistic perspective. She is co-editor of the book Australian Perspectives on Internationalising Education (2003).
Would you like manners with that? A study of gender, polite questions and the fast-food industry
Author: Emma Katherine Gibson
Emma Gibson is a final year student in Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Applied Linguistics and Bachelor of Education at Griffith University Brisbane. After graduating Emma hopes to teach English and Japanese both within Australian secondary schools and overseas.
The purpose of this research project was to examine the effect that gender has on polite questioning techniques used in mixed‐gender interaction. While theorists such as Lakoff (2004) and Montgomery (1998) claim that women question in a more polite manner than men, the results of this study contradict such theories. Data were gathered by analysing the questions used by cashiers at fast food retailers in response to an ambiguous request. Politeness was rated both holistically and by counting the number of morphemes used in a question, with the assumption that the number of morphemes and the level of politeness are proportional. It was found that the cashiers studied were more polite to the face of a member of the opposite sex than they were to that of someone of their own sex. If we assume that this study represents the average population, this study proves that men are more polite to the face of a woman than to that of a man, and vise versa. This study disproves proposals made by Lakoff and Montgomery and brings new ideas to the area of politeness and gender.
Views on gender differences in bullying in relation to language and gender role socialisation
Author: Sylvie WImmer
Sylvie Wimmer is currently studying for a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts majoring in Gender Studies at Griffith University Brisbane. Her academic interests include criminal law, family law, feminism, and literature.
The study sought to examine society’s views on gender differences in bullying in relation to socialisation into gender roles. Fifty‐two people were surveyed on their views regarding bullying. The results supported the hypotheses that women will have been bullied more than men; men will have bullied more than women; men will have been bullied more by males than by females; women will have primarily bullied and been bullied verbally and emotionally; and that people will believe that bullying decreases with age. The results did not support the hypotheses that women will have been bullied equally by males and females; and that men will have primarily bullied and been bullied physically. Instead it was found that women were mainly bullied by females, and that men primarily bully and are bullied verbally.
The 'Pretty Woman' Fairytale and Other Fantasies: An Analysis of the Language of Yellow Pages Escort Services and Advertisements
Author: Helen Margaret Stephens
Helen Stephens is a mature‐age student studying for the Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Applied Linguistics at Griffith University. Her interests include China and the Chinese language, and she would like to travel and teach English on completion of her studies.
The aim of this research was to examine the language used in Yellow Pages advertisements for escort services, and its role in defining and sustaining the relationship between service provider and customer. The research established that most advertisements portrayed women offering services to men, and sex workers’ claims that their work was a job like many others was supported by the amount of straight, business‐related language used in the advertisements. There was also acknowledgement of a continuing concern about the moral context of the interaction by repeated references to privacy protection for the client. However, most of the language sexually objectified the service provider, presenting vivid descriptions of her appearance and personal qualities. What was being offered to the male client was a realisation of his fantasy, with respect to behaviour and beauty, of the ideal woman. The offer was made using language that fostered traditional male/female roles and maintained unequal power relations.
'Feminine' speech in the Japanese Translations of Harry Potter
Author: Carolyn Wood
Carolyn Wood has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (2A) in Languages and Applied Linguistics at Griffith University, Brisbane. Her dissertation was entitled Ideology in Translation: The Pragmatics of Character Interrelationships in the Japanese Translations of Harry Potter. Her areas of academic interest include pragmatics and intercultural communication, ESL and Japanese language and culture, as well as literary studies.
The worldwide popularity of J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter novels has seen them translated into an unprecedented number of languages. Studies of these translations are few, however, and tend to concentrate primarily on the translation of specialised lexical items. Japanese in particular is interesting, as it has a unique set of pragmatic characteristics, such as a grammatically encoded hierarchical language (keigo), a wide variety of indexicals, and specialised sentence‐final elements. The Japanese translations of Harry Potter provide an opportunity to find out how various pragmatic elements of the Japanese language appear in dialogue in the novels and how they influence characterisation and character interrelationships. This study focuses on these pragmatic elements and the ideological assumptions about ‘polite’ and ‘gender appropriate’ usage in Japanese that they implicitly perpetuate. The findings of the study suggest that ideologies about language use, influenced by both the source and target cultures, can be implicitly perpetuated through translation.
The gender schema: how contrasts and multiple characteristics affect metaphorical gender in adults
Author: Rachel Chung
Rachel Chung is currently completing her Bachelor in Psychology with Honours at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.
Schemata are an aspect of cognition consisting of hypothetical constructs that are then used in a person’s perception of the world around them. Various cognitive processes manipulate a person’s schemata – one of these is gender. Gender is often defined as a social category system that is built around the distinction of male and female; however, it has also been suggested that objects and features of a person’s world can be metaphorically associated with the concept. In the following study seventy‐one participants undertook a survey that aimed to investigate how the metaphorical gender of an item changed when compared to other items or was paired up with another characteristic. The results supported previous research in the area that suggested that an item’s metaphorical gender can change depending on the context.