textbook recommendations

Bonnie McElhinny bonnie.mcelhinny at UTORONTO.CA
Thu May 18 13:26:24 UTC 2000

These are some comments in response to Beth Simon's request for information
on textbooks in sociolinguistics, w. particular reference to those which
have strong treatments of gender.

The linguistic anthropology list had a discussion last year about which
textbooks people preferred.  The results were published by Cindy Dunn and
Jim Wilce in the Anthropology Newsletter in December 1999.  The textbooks
most widely used by linguistic anthropologists were those written by
Michael Agar, Nancy Bonvillain, Alessandro Duranti, William Foley, Gary
Palmer, Zdenek Salzmann and Ronald Wardhaugh (see full citations below).
Note that these don't necessarily include coverage of topics that might be
seen as more central to sociolinguists.

At IGALA, Claire Hicks, Jeff Hotzkener, Marijke Hols, Susanne Unger and I
presented the first round of results of our project investigating the way
gender shapes publication and citation rates in sociolinguistics and
linguistic anthropology, in a paper entitled "women's writing in
sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology."  We've been looking at the
percentages of women published and cited in different journals, and in
textbooks. Of the 15 textbooks published, or published with new editions in
the 1990s, 8 include a chapter on language and gender (Bonvillain,
Chambers, Fasold 1990, Foley, Holmes, Macaulay, Romaine, Wardhaugh).  2 of
these include 2 chapters on language and gender (Holmes, Bonvillain).
Although there's another project investigating precisely how language and
gender research is defined and understood by those often not working in the
field, my sense of these chapters on language and gender  is that many of
them are shockingly out of date, focusing largely on Lakoff's work and on
early variationist work on gender.  To my mind the strongest one-chapter
treatment in a textbook is Foley's.  I would still, however, use one of the
chapter-length surveys by practitioners in the field instead, or as a
supplement (possibilities include Eckert/McConnell-Ginet's paper in the
Annual Review, Gal's paper in Gender at the Crossroads of Knowledge and,
for classes aimed at teachers/educators, perhaps my chapter with Rebecca
Freeman in Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching).

Textbooks Analyzed.
Agar, Michael.   1994.  Language Shock:  Understanding the Culture of
Conversation.  NY:  William       Morrow and      Company, Inc.
Bonvillain, Nancy.  2000.  Language, Culture and Communication:  The
Meaning of Messages.  3rd  edition.  Upper         Saddle River, NJ:
Chambers, J.K.  1995.  Sociolinguistic Theory.  Oxford:  Blackwell.
Duranti, Alessandro.  1997.     Linguistic Anthropology.  Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
 Fasold, Ralph.  1984.  The Sociolinguistics of Society.    Introduction to
Sociolinguistics Volume I.          Oxford:  Blackwell.
-------.  1990.  Sociolinguistics of Language.  Introduction to
Sociolinguistics Volume II.  Oxford:    Blackwell.
Foley, William.  1997.  Anthropological Linguistics:  An Introduction.
Oxford:  Blackwell.
Hanks, William.  1996.  Language and Communicative Practices.  Boulder, CO:
Holmes, Janet.  1992.  An Introduction to Sociolinguistics.  London:  Longman.
Hudson, R. A.  1996.  Sociolinguistics.  2nd edition.  Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Macaulay, Ronald.  1994.        The Social Art:  Language and Its Uses.
NY:  Oxford University Press.
Palmer, Gary.  1996.  Toward a Theory of Cultural Linguistics.  Austin:
University of Texas Press.
Romaine, Suzanne. 1994.   Language in Society:  An Introduction to
Sociolinguistics.  Oxford:   Oxford University       Press.
Salzmann, Zdenek.  1993.  Language, Culture and Society:  An Introduction
to Linguistic         Anthropology.  Boulder:         Westview Press.
Wardhaugh, Ronald.  1992.  An Introduction to Sociolinguistics.  2nd
edition.  Oxford:  Blackwell.

Bonnie McElhinny
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
University of Toronto
100 St. George St.
Toronto Ontario M5S 3G3

phone:  416-978-3297
fax:    416-978-3217

em:     bonnie.mcelhinny at utoronto.ca

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