functional linguistic and gender research

Catie Berkenfield catieb at
Wed May 5 21:00:20 UTC 2004

Dear Funknet

I am interested in potential points of contact between functionalism
(usage-based linguistic theories) and thirdwave sociolinguistic research
on gender (the social category, not the grammatical classification).
Since the functionalist tradition does not come out of structuralism but
the thirdwave socio paradigm comes (in part) out of philosophical
critiques of structural linguistics, the two areas don't have much in
common historically. Yet it seems to me that some of the general
concerns with performance (as usage in functional linguistics and as
social category formation in language and gender research) are
interesting places to try to strike up a dialogue. Deborah Cameron
touched on the need for a functional approach to language and gender
research in a 1996 paper "The Language-Gender Interface: Challenging
Co-optation." In Rethinking Language and Gender Research: Theory and
Practice, ed. by Victoria L. Bergvall, Janet M. Bing and Alice F. Freed.

My question is whether anyone knows of any other theoretical or
empirical work that addresses this specific issue, that is the history
and practice of these two research areas and how they are or are not



Catie Berkenfield
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Linguistics
University of New Mexico

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