Approaches to Gender Studies: A Review of Literature

Manizheh Alami


Gender creeps into our day-to-day life so smoothly that we take it for granted and accept it as a natural part of our lives, something that needs no explanation. The development of gender roles often begins as early as infancy. It manifests itself in all aspects of our social life. The traces of gender can be found in our way of speaking, the use of humour, conflict situations and so on. It is embedded so strongly in our actions, beliefs and desires that it appears to us quite natural. In general, gender is among those variables that need to be taken into account in order to explain the patterns of language usage. The current study is an attempt to, in the first place, have a review of prominent sociolinguistic approaches to gender (dominance vs. difference approach). It further, delves into the relationship between gender and language via brief review of the studies carried out in the past three decades. The study provides some critical viewpoints of these approaches.


gender, language, speaking style, dominance paradigm, difference paradigm

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