Feminism and Linguistic Theory by Deborah Cameron

By Deborah Cameron

Feminism has continually known the significance of language in either idea and perform; the recent feminist scholarship of the final 20 years has made broad use of theories approximately language in makes an attempt to appreciate and rework women's lives. Feminism and Linguistic concept is a serious creation to this evolving physique of labor. Accessibly written and newly revised to take account of contemporary advancements, its scope is extensive, encompassing paintings in linguistics, anthropology, literary and cultural thought, psychoanalysis and postmodern philosophy.

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He is the founder of a broad current which I call semiology, and he laid down the principles of what was fashionable in the I 970s as structuralism. These isms and ologies are not always applied to strictly linguistic phenomena. In Saussure's own work, though, they were developed as approaches to the study of language, more precisely of langue. What defines a structuralist approach is its insistence that language should be studied as a self-contained system defined by the internal relations of its parts - not as a historicaL sociaL philosophical or pedagogical matter.

The synchronic and the diachronic are thus interconnected. Summary The three approaches just discussed are not incompatible in the sense that, for instance, structuralists do not think language is a social phenomenon and sociolinguists see no cognitive element in language use. Most linguists are prepared to acknowledge the validity of other perspectives, even if they think their own is more significant than the others. It is more a difference of emphasis in what one chooses to study and how one approaches it.

Throughout this discussion I will be emphasising the idea that the study of sex differences cannot help having a political dimension, because the male/female difference is so important for the organisation of the societies in which studies of difference are done. This was true even before the current wave of feminism (Virginia Woolf in 1929 and Simone de Beauvoir in 1949 both marvelled at the huge volume of material on the subject); contemporary feminism has just made the political implications easier to see.

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