Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach / Edition 1

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"Shortlisted" for the IGALA Book Prize 2008

"Communicating Gender Diversity succeeds in its goal of inviting readers into a conversation on the topic of gender and communication. Amongst the broad range of areas opened up to ongoing critical engagement, upper-level undergraduates may find a wealth of topics to pursue into further study—GENDER IN MANAGEMENT:AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL

Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach examines the variety of ways in which communication of and about gender enables and constrains people’s intersectional identities. Authors Victoria Pruin DeFrancisco and Catherine Helen Palczewski place an emphasis not on how gender influences communication, but on how communication constitutes gender. Operating from a gender diversity perspective, Communicating Gender Diversity explores how gender is constructed through interpersonal and public discourse about and in the institutions of family, education, work, religion, and media.

The book equips readers with the necessary critical analysis tools to form their own conclusions about the ever changing processes of gender in communication. This comprehensive gender in communication book is the first to extensively address the roles of religion, the gendered body, single-sex education, an institutional analysis of gender construction, social construction theory, and more.

Key Features

  • Offers an intersectional approach: The text does not essentialize gender, but recognizes the way identity ingredients intersect with, and influence, one another.
  • Integrates social scientific, critical/cultural, and rhetorical analyses: This is the only text that expends extensive time on the work of Judith Butler as it theorizes how gender is something people do and perform, not something they are.
  • Moves beyond an individual, personal understanding of gender: Gender is not something over which people have absolute control, therefore social change is not something for which a particular person is responsible, but something in which all must participate.

Accompanied by High-Quality Ancillaries!
Instructor Resources on CD contain a detailed conceptual outline of every chapter, discussion questions, extended quotations from key sources for the chapter, additional exercises, and cultural resources to be used as in-class illustrations, such as Web pages, music, and video examples.

Intended Audience
This core text is ideal for courses exploring gender, diversity, and communication as found in departments of communication, women’s studies, sociology, psychology, and cultural studies. By providing the latest feminist theorists’ views on the topic of gender, sex and communication, and offering an interdisciplinary approach especially useful to disciplines in communication studies, rhetoric, women’s studies, gender studies, sociology, anthropology, and psychology, this is much more than a textbook; it is a resource book necessary for any library’s collection. The extensive literatures cited in the book make it a comprehensive reference for anyone studying gender/sex in communication.

“DeFrancisco and Palczewski's book is wonderful. I knew that they were trying to do much more than the previous books, but I hadn't realized just what high goals they had set for themselves -- such extensive reviews and fresh analyses. This will be adopted in many courses and they will be doing many editions of this book.

What they do with single-sex classes is so very readable, sensible and smart. It's great that they included the chapter on religion; it's about time that that language gets attention..... and they did it in such a way that the chapter calls for attention and consideration rather than resistance. Just very impressive. Many, many thanks.”
Cheris Kramarae, Center for the Study of Women in Society,University of Oregon, Eugene

"College-level collections strong in gender studies and psychology will find "Communicating Gender Diversity"an essential key to understanding how communication facilitates how people do gender."

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Editorial Reviews

MBR: Internet Bookwatch
"College-level collections strong in gender studies and psychology will find Communicating Gender Diversity an essential key to understanding how communication facilitates how people do gender. "—MBR: INTERNET BOOKWATCH
Richard West
"Victoria Pruin DeFrancisco and Catherine Helen Palczewski have presented a text that speaks to the "upper-division undergraduate or lower-level graduate" (p. xii) student who is interested in gender and communication. To be sure, the book thoughtfully weaves together empirical research, popular press stories, literature, film, and theatrical productions. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to embark upon, or continue, this journey into gendered awareness."
Janet M. Fuller

"Communicating Gender Diversity is a boon to the field of gender studies. Although intended as a textbook, this book is also an excellent resource for those teaching and researching gender in a variety of academic disciplines. This breadth of approaches and subject matter makes this volume truly interdisciplinary. Communicating Gender Diversity is a welcome addition to the field of gender studies. Although the scope of the material covered is much broader than language and gender, it nonetheless is a good theoretical treatment of issues that are essential to current discussions of gender among scholars of language and linguistics."

MBR: Internet Bookwatch
"College-level collections strong in gender studies and psychology will find Communicating Gender Diversity an essential key to understanding how communication facilitates how people do gender."


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412925594
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 6/21/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 9.91 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Victoria Pruin DeFrancisco, Ph.D., is a Professor of Communication Studies and affiliate faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. She teaches courses in gender, intercultural, and interpersonal communication. She is also coordinator of the university-wide Campus Coalition Builders’ diversity iInclusion program, affiliated with

Catherine Helen Palczewski, Ph.D., is a Professor of Communication Studies, past Director of Debate, and affiliate faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. She teaches courses in the rhetoric of social protest, argumentation, gender, and political communication. She is a past editor of Argumentation and Advocacy and director of the 2013 AFA/NCA Biennial Conference on Argumentation held in Alta, Utah.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Foundations
1. Developing a Critical Gender/Sex Lens
Gender Differences: A Cultural Obsession
A Critical Vocabulary or a New Lens Prescription
Putting It All Together
2. Alternative Approaches to Understanding Gender/Sex
Biological Approaches
Psychological Approaches
Descriptive Cultural Approaches
Critical Cultural Approaches
Conclusion: Gender Diversity
3. Gendered/Sexed Voices
Constructing a Critical Gender/Sex Lens
Constructing Gender/Sex in Communication
Cultural Perceptions of Gender/Sex Styles and Speakers
Power and Talk
4. Gendered/Sexed Bodies
Gender Embodiment: Why Nonverbals Matter
Constructing a Critical Gender/Sex Lens
Components of Nonverbal Communication
Gender as Body Performance
Refusing the Command Performance
5. Gendered/Sexed Language
Theories Explaining the Power of Language
Language Can Be Used to Oppress and Subordinate
Language as Resistance
Conclusion: An Ethics of Language
Part II: Institutions
6. Introduction to Gender in Social Institutions
What Is an Institution?
Institutional Control and Hegemony
Gender Is a Social Institution
Institutionalized Gendered/Sexed Violence
Unit Preview
7. Family
Family as a Social Institution
Interlocking Institutions
Family Constructs (and Constrains) Gender
Emancipatory Families
8. Education
Education as a Social Institution
Interlocking Institutions
It's Not About Sex Difference
Education Constructs (and Constrains) Gender
Emancipatory Education
9. Work
Work as a Social Institution
Interlocking Institutions
It's Not About Sex Difference
Work Constructs (and Constrains) Gender
Work as Liberation and Locations of Empowerment in Work
10. Religion
Religion as a Social Institution
Interlocking Institutions
It's Not About Sex Difference
Religion Constructs (and Constrains) Gender
Religion as Liberation and Locations of Empowerment in Religion
11. Media
Media as a Social Institution
Interlocking Institutions
It's Not About Sex Difference
Media Construct (and Constrains) Gender
Media as Always Liberatory and Constraining
12. One Last Look Through a Critical Gendered Lens
About the Authors
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