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Team Player

In: English and Literature

Submitted By gbuck
Words 2201
Pages 9
Being a ‘Team’ Player:
The Linguistic Alteration of Identity in Online Communities Dedicated to The Hunger Games In the first chapter of Gender and Language, Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet discuss how the connection between language and gender enables a “continual performance” of gendered interactions (33), which, in turn, enables “social reproduction” founded on the separate categories of male and female. They argue that language not only reflects gendered categories but “constructs and maintains these categories” (34). Being such strong categories, they claim it is “impossible” to escape gendered behavior and not influence others to give gendered responses (50). In a later chapter, Eckert and McConnell-Ginet discuss how “gender schemas and ideologies” are implied and interpreted (203). Using an example from a university setting, the authors illustrate their point that the assumption of gender may not result from “the particulars of our exchange but in familiar gender stereotypes” (204). If no specific clues or pronouns are given during the exchange of information, presuppositions relying on stereotypes often emerge. Not only do stereotypes and behavior fill the linguistic gaps, but the power in individual words alone is a cause for concern. Sally McConnell-Ginet explores this further in her article “Words in the World: How and Why Meanings Can Matter.” She argues that single words can carry multiple meanings in each use whether the speaker means them to or not (497) and that “certain aspects of meaning arise, are sustained, and are sometimes transformed in social practices” (506). To describe this process in more detail, McConnell-Ginet structures her argument by breaking down her idea of “lexical significance,” and it is her third component of this idea, called conceptual baggage, that concerns my study the most. McConnell-Ginet describes...

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