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Gender and Language: Cultural Concerns

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Abstract

Research on gender and language started in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and quickly took off across the Western World. At that time it was closely linked to the women's liberation movement and had many practical implications such as the creation of guidelines for nondiscriminatory language behavior for official purposes in bureaucracies, media, publishers, and so forth. There are many different theoretical and methodological approaches, which also imply a range of differing ideological positionings. Currently, in the twenty-first century, we encounter an important focus on more critically inspired work and on the integration of various dimensions such as social class, gender, ethnicity, and so forth in the actual empirical investigation, an approach termed intersectionality. Moreover, the performative aspect of social and thus also gendered language practices is increasingly salient.