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Gendered 'people': How linguistically non-gendered terms can have gendered interactional relevance

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JournalFeminism and Psychology
DatePublished - May 2007
Issue number2
Volume17
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)224-236
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Drawing on a case study of a single data extract, this article uses conversation analysis (CA) to explore the use of.- (1) gendered linguistic terms ('girls' and 'boys') that are treated as relevantly interactionally gendered by the participants; (2) use of a linguistically non-gendered term (people') that is not treated as relevantly interactionally gendered; (3) use of a linguistically gendered term ('man') that is not treated as relevantly interactionally gendered; and (4) use of a linguistically non-gendered term (people') that is treated as relevantly interactionally gendered by the participants. Our analysis shows that the interactional meaning of gender is not intrinsic to gendered linguistic forms, but to the action a linguistic form is used to do on any given occasion of use. This contributes to the development of feminist CA and to the understanding of how gender is constructed in talk- in-interaction, as well as more generally to conversation analytic work on membership categorization and person reference.

    Research areas

  • conversation analysis, feminism, gender, membership categorization, person reference, talk-in-interaction, CONVERSATION ANALYSIS

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