Gender and Discourse on an Academic Internet Community

Thumbnail Image
Beaulieu, Hendrika H.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 1995
Do men and women write differently and if so, do these stylistic differences represent differing world \iews and/or do they indicate divergent decisions that are made by the gendered individual with respect to the positioning inherent in the interactive communicative process? In this thesis I consider how men and women write and interact, as well as the topics of their conversations, by examining the postings that characterize a specific semiotic Internet site: Anthro- Created solely by and through language, a net community is the ideal environment in which to conduct a field study which examines the use of gendered language. In cyber 'public' space, where social interaction in largely stripped of bodily cues, net participants rely on the power of discourse to convey the 'self. I shall show that men and women make different choices as to how they will represent themselves in net public space, and that these choices are conveyed through the preference of specific styles of writing. Although conceptualizations of public space, academic praxis, and individual socialization all contribute to stylistic differentials, I illustrate through my methodology that Gender is the master status that primarily informs communicative decisions. 'Legitimate' language in our culture is constructed on the rational paradigm which characterizes public institutions; this paradigm is the fundamental principle which informs our system of [male] Langue. Posting acts on Anthro-L offer evidence that those who do not 'speak', or choose not to speak within the framework of this model, are conceived as 'other1, and are silenced through desertion, by - play and trivialization.
29 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Sex role , Language and languages--Sex differences , Communication--Sex differences , Communication in sex