Unit 2 and 3 review notes
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Unit 2 and 3 Review and Study Guide.
Language and Identity, Language and Power
Language and Gender
Gender is everywhere. It shapes how we feel about ourselves, each other, and how we
Western culture naturalizes gender, which means we think it is natural when really it is a
cultural construction. This is manifest in how sex and gender are so interconnected in
Western culture that we need a clear anatomical sex in order to know how to give
identity to a person, how to raise that person, how to interact at all. Surgeries to assign a
sex are common in Western medical practices just so that a baby can then be gendered.
Culture trumps biology as it needs biology to explain it to the extent it changes
Our understanding of how gender translates into practices—how females versus males
speak, dress, walk, act in general—is based on ideologies of what we think is right and
wrong about being a male or female. These are known as gender ideologies.
There are 3 models scholars and everyday people tend to apply when considering
differences between men and women:
1. Female Deficit Model (Markedness) . Women are seen in terms of men.
2. Dual Cultural Model. Men and women are socialized differently, from how they are
parented to how they are pressured by their peer groups.
3. Dominance Model. Looks at access to resources available to see how power plays into
differences. These models extend even to understandings of other differences such as
race, ethnicity, nationality.
Language and Race // Language and Ethnicity
The Ebonics debate is about something more than language. Language just stands in
place of that something else. That something else is RACISM. Rephrased in its
relationship to language,
WAYS OF SPEAKING ARE JUDGED AS WAYS OF BEING.
Descriptivist and Prescriptivist: 2 kinds of approaches to language use, those who judge
it as neutral and all languages being created equally (Descriptivists, like Anthropologists);
and those who see one language style as better than another, in this case those like the
English First people who think they speak the Standard and that the Standard is what
should be taught, that anything else is rubbish.
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