Language, Gender and Sexual Identity

Poststructuralist perspectives

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This book makes an innovative contribution to the relatively young field of Queer Linguistics. Subscribing to a poststructuralist framework, it presents a critical, deconstructionist perspective on the discursive construction of heteronormativity and gender binarism from a linguistic point of view. On the one hand, the book provides an outline of Queer approaches to issues of language, gender and sexual identity that is of interest to students and scholars new to the field. On the other hand, the empirical analyses of language data represent material that also appeals to experts in the field. The book deals with repercussions of the discursive materialisation of heteronormativity and gender binarism in various kinds of linguistic data. These include stereotypical genderlects, structural linguistic gender categories (especially from a contrastive linguistic point of view), the discursive sedimentation of female and feminine generics, linguistic constructions of the gendered body in advertising and the usage of personal reference forms to create characters in Queer Cinema. Throughout the book, readers become aware of the wounding potential that gendered linguistic forms may possess in certain contexts.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Discourse studies

  • Affiliations: 1: Goethe University Frankfurt

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