Mothers, Warriors, Guardians of the Soul

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This study shows that women involved in National Socialism in the years 1924 - 1934 developed and shaped a recognizable discourse which communicated and reflected their position and status within the NS movement. The analysis is based on a variety of text-types produced by members of NS women's organisations, and includes official correspondence, circulars, reports, pamphlets, monographs and articles from NS women's journals. It draws upon several areas of linguistic theory, including feminist linguistics, semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, and the salient features identified in the female discourse are placed within a sociolinguistic framework. While previous research into the language of the NS-system has largely ignored the possibility of a cohesive female discourse, the study supports the idea that this discourse was dynamic, and at times heterogeneous, whilst also displaying many self-defining and self-referential features. It is characterised by its ambiguities and apparent contradictions, which expresses separateness and difference, yet also solidarity with the NSDAP.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783110172324
  • Publisher: De Gruyter
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Series: Studia Linguistica Germanica Series, #68
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

The author is Lecturer in the Department of German at the University of London

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: existence of a linguistic Frauenwelt? 1
1.1 Preliminary observations 1
1.2 Outline of methodology: historical and political discourses 4
1.3 Outline of semantic theories 7
1.4 Female discourse: a theoretical framework 18
1.5 Historical background 30
1.6 Linguistic background to National Socialist discourse 45
1.7 Linguistic background to female discourse in National Socialism 66
2 Morpho-semantic analysis 74
2.1 Aspects of word-formation in female discourse 74
2.2 Frau 79
2.3 Mutter 109
2.4 Use of the -in suffix 122
2.5 Summary of word-formation in female discourse 139
3 Lexico-semantic analysis 141
3.1 Thematic Categories 141
3.2 Women and the NSDAP 141
3.3 Women and the Volksgemeinschaft 176
3.4 Women and Motherhood, Women and Work 230
4 Textual analysis 269
4.1 Power, status and influence in female correspondence 269
4.2 Historical and theoretical background 270
4.3 Women's correspondence in National Socialism: general characteristics 277
4.4 Analysis of six letters 284
4.5 Letters from women to men 289
4.6 Letters from women to women 301
4.7 Summary 313
5 Conclusion 316
App. I Letterheads 321
App. II Women's Letters 322
List of Abbreviations 331
Bibliography 332
Index 349
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