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Language and Gender

My interest in language and gender grew out of my dissatisfaction with treatments of gender in studies of variation, and my observation in my own data that gender is not independent of other aspects of social identity. Thus, one can not expect sex class to have the same effect on language use from one social group to another.

Once I began to take gender seriously, I became more engaged with poststructural theories, and particularly with work on gender and sexuality. This has been an important force in my thinking about language and variation, and in the thinking of all those involved in the Third Wave of variation studies.

Much of my work on language and gender has been done in collaboration with Sally McConnell-Ginet of Cornell University. We began to work together in 1990, as we prepared a course on language and gender for the 1991 LSA Linguistic Institute at Santa Cruz, and as we co-authored an article on the same topic for the 1992 Annual Review of Anthropology. Sally and I have given talks together in a variety of venues, but none as elegant as the Rockefeller Foundation's Study Center at Bellagio, where we spent four heavenly weeks working on our 2003 book Language and Gender (Cambridge University Press). The second edition just came out in February, 2013.

Important Links:

Mary Bucholtz's Language and Gender Page:

International Gender and Language Association (IGALA):

My Publications on Language and Gender (and some other stuff on gender)

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Eckert, Penelope (2004). The good woman. in Mary Bucholtz ed. Language and woman's place: Text and commentaries. New York: Oxford University Press. 165-70.

Eckert, Penelope and Sally McConnell-Ginet. (2003) Language and Gender. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Eckert, Penelope. (2003). Language and gender in adolescence. in Janet Holmes and Miriam Meyerhoff eds., Handbook of Language and Gender. Oxford: Blackwell.

Eckert, Penelope. (1999) Comments on Don Kulick's paper "Language and Gender/Sexuality". Language-Culture Symposium. http://www.language-culture.org/archives/mailing-lists/l-c/199911/msg00004.html

Eckert, Penelope and Sally McConnell-Ginet. (1999) New generalizations and explanations in language and gender research. Language in Society. 28.2. 185-202.

Eckert, Penelope. (2002) Demystifying sexuality and desire. Language and sexuality: Contesting meaning in theory and practice. ed. by Kathryn Campbell-Kibler, Robert J. Podesva, Sarah J. Roberts and Andrew Wong, 99-110. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Eckert, Penelope (1996). Vowels and nailpolish: The emergence of linguistic style in the preadolescent heterosexual marketplace. In: Gender and belief systems. ed. by Jocelyn Ahlers et al. Berkeley: Berkeley women and language group.

Eckert, Penelope. (1998). Gender, social engagement, and linguistic style. In Inge Lise Pedersen, Jann Scheuer Eds., Sprog, Koen - og Kommunikation. Rapport fra 3.Nordiske Konference om Sproeg og Koen. Koebenhavn. 11. - 13. oktober 1997. Copenhagen: C.A.Reitzels Forlag

Eckert, Penelope. (1997) Gender and sociolinguistic variation. in Jennifer Coates ed. Readings in Language and Gender. Oxford: Blackwell.

Eckert, Penelope. (1997). Gender, race and class in the preadolescent marketplace of identities. Paper presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Washington DC.

Eckert, Penelope. (1995) Constructing meaning, constructing selves: Snapshots of language, gender and class from Belten High. In Mary Buchholtz and Kira Hall eds., Gender Articulated: Language and the Culturally Constructed Self. Routledge, 469-507.

Eckert, Penelope. (1994) Identities of subordination as a developmental imperative.Working Papers on Learning and Identity 2. Palo Alto: Institute for Research on Learning.

Eckert, Penelope. (1992) Communities of Practice: Where Language, Gender and Power all Live. In Kira Hall, Mary Bucholtz and Birch Moonwomon eds., Locating Power: Proceedings of the 1992 Berkeley Women and Language Conference. Berkeley: Berkeley Women and Language Group, 89-99. Reprinted in Jennifer Coates ed. (In press). Readings in Language and Gender. Cambridge: Blackwell.

Eckert, Penelope and Sally McConnell-Ginet. (1992) Think Practically and Look Locally: Language and Gender as Community-Based Practice. Annual Review of Anthropology. 21, 461-90. (Reprinted in Camille Roman, Suzanne Juhasz and Christanne Miller eds. (1994). The Women and Language Debate. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. 432-60).

Eckert, Penelope (1990) Personal and Professional Networks In Alice Davison and Penelope Eckert Eds., The Cornell Lectures: Women in Linguistics. Washington DC: Linguistic Society of America.

Davison, Alice and Penelope Eckert eds. (1990) The Cornell Lectures. Linguistic Society of America.

Eckert, Penelope. (1990) The Whole Woman: Sex and Gender Differences in Variation. Language Variation and Change. 1, 245P67. (Reprinted in Donald Brenneis and Ronald Macaulay eds., The Matrix of Language: Contemporary Linguistic Anthropology. Boulder: Westview Press, 116-37.)

Eckert, Penelope. (1990) Cooperative Competition in Adolescent Girl Talk. Discourse Processes. 13, 92P122. (Reprinted in Deborah Tannen ed. 1993. Gender and Conversational Interaction. Oxford University Press, 91P122.)