Language and Woman's Place: Text and Commentaries / Edition 1

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The 1975 publication of Robin Tolmach Lakoff's Language and Woman's Place, is widely recognized as having inaugurated feminist research on the relationship between language and gender, touching off a remarkable response among language scholars, feminists, and general readers. For the past thirty years, scholars of language and gender have been debating and developing Lakoff's initial observations.

Arguing that language is fundamental to gender inequality, Lakoff pointed to two areas in which inequalities can be found: Language used about women, such as the asymmetries between seemingly parallel terms like master and mistress, and language used by women, which places women in a double bind between being appropriately feminine and being fully human. Lakoff's central argument that "women's language" expresses powerlessness triggered a controversy that continues to this day.

The revised and expanded edition presents the full text of the original first edition, along with an introduction and annotations by Lakoff in which she reflects on the text a quarter century later and expands on some of the most widely discussed issues it raises. The volume also brings together commentaries from twenty-six leading scholars of language, gender, and sexuality, within linguistics, anthropology, modern languages, education, information sciences, and other disciplines. The commentaries discuss the book's contribution to feminist research on language and explore its ongoing relevance for scholarship in the field.

This new edition of Language and Woman's Place not only makes available once again the pioneering text of feminist linguistics; just as important, it places the text in the context of contemporary feminist and gender theory for a new generation of readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lakoff, the scholar who inspired me to pursue a career in linguistics, was the first to show that the language used by women (who is more likely—or expected—to say, "Oh dear" and "My goodness"?) and about women (men pass out, but women faint) reflects the way that women are treated and the real-world possibilities open to them."—Deborah Tannen, author of Conversational Style: Analyzing Talk among Friends, Revised Edition (OUP, 2005) and You're Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation

"In 1975, when first published, this watershed study was as unprecedented, controversial, and as influential as its basic thesis: that gender influenced vocabulary and usage and that both in turn reflected oppressive social structures. The present volume goes way beyond the category of "revised edition": Bucholtz created an entirely new entity that contains and surrounds the original...the reader feels privy to a lively conversation at a gathering of a very extended family, complete with its controveries. Highly recommended."—Choice

"[A] re-release of Lakoff's 1975 seminal work on gender and language...this book is a first-rate acquisition for a variety of audiences. excellent introductory text for either a graduate or undergraduate class on language and gender. The commentaries are often partly the personal journey of the authors negotiating gender through their lives and their work. Because of this, linguistics is made personally relevant in a way which rarely happens in undergraduate texts."—Elizabeth Winkler, Linguist List 16.521

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195167573
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/22/2004
  • Series: Studies in Language and Gender Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 882,812
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Tolmach Lakoff is Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Widely regarded as the founder of language and gender studies, she writes extensively about gender and power and is the author or coauthor of seven books and nearly one hundred articles.

Mary Bucholz is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has coedited several books on language and gender and is the author of numerous articles on race, class, and youth identities.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction
Author's Introduction
Language and Woman's Place: The Original Text with Annotations by Author
Part 1: Context
1. Changing Places: Language and Woman's Place in Context, Mary Bucholtz
2. "Radical Feminist" as Label, Libel, and Laudatory Chant: The Politics of Theoretical Taxonomies in Feminist Linguistics, Bonnie McElhinny
3. Positioning Ideas and Gendered Subjects: "Women's Language" Revisited, Sally McConnell-Ginet
4. Language and Woman's Place: Picking Up the Gauntlet, Anna Livia
Part 2: Concepts
5. Power, Lady, and Linguistic Politeness in Language and Woman's Place, Janet Holmes
6. Cultural Patterning in Language and Woman's Place, Deborah Tannen
7. The Good Woman, Penelope Eckert
8. Language and Marginalized Places, Kira Hall
Part 3: Femininities
9. Exploring Woman's Language in Japan, Sachiko Ide
10. "Woman's Langugae and Martha Stewart: From a Room of One's Own to a Home of One's Own to a Corporation of One's Own, Catherine Davies
11. Public Discourse and the Private Life of Little Girls: Language and Woman's Place and Language Socialization, Jenny Cook-Gumperz
12. Mother's Place in Language and Woman's Place, Shari Kendall
Part 4: Power
13. Doing and Saying: Some Words on Women's Silence, Miriam Meyerhoff
14. Computer-Mediated Communication and Woman's Place, Susan Herring
15. Linguistics Discrimination and Violence against Women: Discursive Practices and Material Effects, Susan Ehrlich
16. What Does a Focus on "Men's Language" Tell Us about Language and Woman's Place?, Scott Kiesling
Part 5: Women's Place
17. Gender, Identity, and "Strong Language" in a Professional Woman's Talk, Judith Mattson Beam and Barbara Johnstone
18. The New Language and Place of Women in Japan: Reflections on Language and Woman's Place, Toshiko Matsumoto
19. "I'm Every Woman": Black Women's (Dis)placement in Women's Language Study, Marcyliena Morgan
20. The Anguish of Normative Gender: Sociolinguistic Studies among U.S. Latinas, Norma Mendoza-Denton
21. Contradictions of the Indigenous Americas: Feminist Challenges to and from the Field, Sara Trechter
Part 6: Sexualities
22. Language and Woman's Place: Blueprint Studies of Gay Men's English, William L. Leap
23. They Way We Wish We Were: Sexuality and Class in Language and Woman's Place, Rudolf P. Gaudio
24. "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar": The Importance of Linguistics Stereotype for Lesbian Identity Performances, Robin Queen
25. As Much as We Use Language: Lakoff's Queer Augury, Rusty Barrett

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