College of Arts and Sciences | Language and Gender
E104 | 11596 | Trix


COLL-E 104 11596 Language and Gender (Trix F) (S & H) (3 cr.)
9:05AM  9:55AM TR
See Schedule of Classes for discussion section times

This course is about language and gender: how women and men use
language and how language reflects the status of women and men in
society. Many people have specific ideas about the way women speak:
women are more polite than men and they speak better than them, they
talk and gossip more than men, they use expressions like kind of and
seek approval for what they say by making their statements sound like
questions or by adding tag questions:

It's a nice day, isn't it? In this course, we will ask ourselves
whether any of the stereotypes about women's language are true. We
will try to determine how differently women and men really speak and
understand why this should be the case. We will examine gender
differences in various cultures and seek to establish whether the
differences are genetic or social.  We will also examine claims that
English and many other languages are sexist and that they deny women a
level of recognition equal to that granted to men. For example, is the
use of masculine pronouns (he, him, his) and words such as mankind in
passages that are supposed to refer to females and males really
gender-inclusive? Is there any need to change language and make it
more gender-neutral?  The primary goal of this course is to engage
students in a critical examination of the various ways in which
language and gender interact so they become able to tell apart myth
from reality. A second but very important goal is to teach students to
collect data and analyze those data.  Requirements for the course
include (1) a diary in which students record observations on language
and gender and reflect on them, (2) critical evaluations of popular
and scientific articles, (3) regular participation in discussion
sections, and (4) a final exam. Regular attendance is required and
will be encouraged through pop quizzes.