Women in the Public Sphere: Gendered Language

  • Federica Formato
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Language, Gender and Sexuality book series (PSLGS)


Language used for, about and by female politicians, is qualitatively and quantitatively investigated to demonstrate how language operates to signal gender, gendering and gendered prototyping. The media have found ways to expose a ‘war among female politicians’, manipulating the choices of the language they use to refer to themselves. Marked forms are used more than unmarked in the case of sindaca (feminine) and sindaco (unmarked masculine) when referring to three female mayors in Italian newspapers. Sexual terms used to insult female politicians about their alleged promiscuous private lives seems to be purposefully used to demonstrate their unsuitability to operate in the institutional public spheres. On the contrary, female MPs legitimize their position in the parliament through language, also building a bond with women outside of the Chamber.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Federica Formato
    • 1
  1. 1.LancasterUK

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