Politicizing Gender in Discourse: Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis as Political Perspective and Praxis

  • Michelle M. Lazar

Abstract

A critical perspective on unequal social arrangements sustained through language use, with the goals of social transformation and emancipation, constitutes the cornerstone of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and many feminist language studies. Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis brings together, for the first time, an international collection of studies at the nexus of CDA and feminist scholarship (which includes feminist studies of language.)1 The specific aim of the volume is to advance a rich and nuanced understanding of the complex workings of power and ideology in discourse in sustaining a (hierarchically) gendered social order. This is especially pertinent in present times where issues of gender, power and ideology have become increasingly complex and subtle. First, feminist debates and theorization since the late 1980s have shown that speaking of ‘women’ and ‘men’ in universal, totalizing terms is problematic longer tenable. Gender as a category intersects with, and is shot through by, other categories of social identity such as sexuality, ethnicity, social position and geography. Patriarchy is also an ideological system that interacts in complex ways with say, corporatist and consumerist ideologies. Second, the workings of gender ideology and asymmetrical power relations in discourse are assuming more subtle forms in the contemporary period, albeit in different degrees and ways in different local communities.

Keywords

Assure Nism Boulder Defend Stake 

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© Michelle M. Lazar 2005

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  • Michelle M. Lazar

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