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Advances in Intergroup Communication


Edited By Howard Giles and Anne Maass

Advances in Intergroup Communication is a timely contribution to the field. It reflects developments in older, more established intergroup settings (e.g., gender, sexual orientation, organizations) whilst introducing newer studies such as the military and political parties. It also pays attention to emerging trends in new media and social networks and considers the developing field of neuroscience of communication.
The volume brings together authors from different geographical areas (North America, Europe, and Australia) and from different disciplines (particularly communication, linguistics, and psychology). Contributions are organized around five themes, corresponding to the five sections of the book: defining features and constraints; tools of intergroup communication; social groups in their context; intergroup communication in organizations; and future directions.
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Chapter Eleven: Gender and Linguistic Sexism


← 176 | 177 →CHAPTER ELEVEN

Gender and Linguistic Sexism


Thought has no genderVANNA BONTA

Language, as a vehicle of representations, can highlight, accentuate or even blur intergroup boundaries. This idea is illustrated by grammatical gender and the normative use of masculine terms in gendered languages, which, although they potentially carry a generic gender meaning, leads to an empirically demonstrated invisibility, or even exclusion of women in gender representations. The mere existence of morphological (e.g., in French “doctoresse”) or semantic gender markers (calling a doctor “female doctor”) activates gender categories, suggesting that gender is relevant even when it is not, thus perpetuating differing expectations and gender stereotypes.

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