Standard Article

Analysis of Gender in Interaction

  1. Jennifer M. Wei

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0020

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Wei, J. M. 2012. Analysis of Gender in Interaction. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

Abstract

Our conventional idea of gender can be seen from three major perspectives: biological, social, and cultural. That is, we are born with a set of genes that determine our biological sex—either male or female in most of the clear-cut cases. A male brain is larger than that of a female but that does not make much difference to its overall capacity. Men are also said to be more visual and spatially oriented while women are more audio and emotionally oriented. According to a recent study based on a large corpus of English, the researchers Newman, Groom, Handelman, and Peenebaker (2008, p. 211) found that “Women used more words related to psychological and social processes. Men referred more to object properties and impersonal topics.” It can be said also that society sets gendered expectations or gendered roles for boys and girls, men and women, and husbands and wives, roles that we internalize and with which we socialize as we go through schooling, working, and living in a certain society. We learn that, in most societies, women are thought to be cooperative and family-oriented while men seem more aggressive, competitive, and career-oriented. Gender also plays a role culturally as different cultures and the weight of different histories can influence how certain gender traits, especially notions of masculinity and femininity, will interact in our lives.

Keywords:

  • culture;
  • discourse analysis;
  • sociolinguistics;
  • discourse analysis;
  • language and gender;
  • sociolinguistics;
  • ethnicity;
  • identity