1st Edition

Researching Language, Gender and Sexuality A Student Guide

By Helen Sauntson Copyright 2020
    204 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    204 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Researching Language, Gender and Sexuality leads students through the process of undertaking research in order to explore how gender and sexuality are represented and constructed through language. Drawing on international research, Sauntson incorporates a fluid understanding of genders and sexualities and includes research on a diverse range of identities.

    This accessible guidebook offers an outline of the practical steps and ethical guidelines involved when gathering linguistic data for the purpose of investigating gender and sexuality. Each chapter contains up-to-date information and empirical case studies that relate to a range of topics within the field of language, gender and sexuality, as well as suggestions for how students could practically research the areas covered.

    Student-friendly, this is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students of English language, linguistics and gender studies.

    1. Introduction: What questions might a linguist ask about language, gender and sexuality?

    1. Aims of the book
    2. Myths about ‘gender difference’
    3. Current research questions and principles
    4. Researching represented difference
    5. Researching gender, sexuality and intersectionality

    2. Theorising gender and sexuality: Feminism, queer theory and performativity

    1. Early development of the field: Academic, social and political influences
    2. ‘Waves’ of feminism
    3. Key principles of current feminist theory
    4. The development of queer theory
    5. Judith Butler and gender performativity
    6. Gender and sexuality as ‘knots that must be undone’

    3. Designing a research project in language, gender and sexuality

    1. Familiarising yourself with relevant literature
    2. Writing research questions
    3. Writing a research rationale
    4. Research design, data collection and analysis
    5. Ethical issues in language, gender and sexuality research

    4. Research methodologies and analytical frameworks

    1. Conversation analysis
    2. Feminist post-structuralist discourse analysis
    3. Critical discourse analysis
    4. Corpus linguistics
    5. Sociolinguistics: Variationist and interactionist

    5. Researching public and private contexts

    1. Casual conversation in private domains
    2. Schools and universities
    3. Language, gender and sexuality in workplaces

    6. Linguistic representations of gender and sexuality in the media

    1. What is ‘the media’?
    2. Researching ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ magazines
    3. Language, gender and sexuality in advertising
    4. Reporting gender and sexuality: Researching the language of newspapers

    7. The politics of language, gender and sexuality: The local and the global

    1. Researching language, gender and sexuality as political practice
    2. Current UK issues
    3. Global issues
    4. Using research for social and political change

    8. Breaking the binary: Investigating transgender, intersex and language

    1. Back to Butler: ‘Gender’ and ‘sex’ as culturally contingent
    2. Breaking the binary: Transgender, intersex and gender variance
    3. Terminology, classifications, nouns and pronouns
    4. Expressions of gender in coming out stories

    9. Researching discriminatory language practices

    1. Sexism
    2. Homophobia and heterosexism
    3. Transphobia
    4. Biphobia

    10. Writing up, drawing conclusions and sharing your research

    1. Writing up your project: Structure, organisation and content
    2. The punchline: Summarising your main argument and conclusion
    3. Telling the world: Sharing and disseminating your research

    End material

    Glossary of terms




    Helen Sauntson is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at York St John University, UK. Her research areas are language in education and language, gender and sexuality. She has published a range of books, chapters and journal articles in these areas and is co-editor of the Palgrave Studies in Language, Gender and Sexuality book series.

    This book offers students a comprehensive account of the theories, methods and frameworks used in the field, applied usefully to illuminating case studies. Researching Language, Gender and Sexuality is essential reading for those developing their own research projects, but also an effective general introduction to the language, gender and sexuality.

    Lucy Jones, University of Nottingham, UK

    This book will spark students‘ interest in language, gender and sexuality and provide them with invaluable guidance for their own research projects. Its pertinent discussion of theoretical and methodological issues in combination with fresh illustrations and an incorporation of recent research render it an excellent resource.   

    Heiko Motschenbacher, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen