More Heat Than Light?: Sex-Difference Science & the Study of Language (BOK)

Deborah Cameron

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In the Sedgewick lecture for 2012, Professor Deborah Cameron investigates the age-old question of whether men and women are different kinds of beings, not only physically but also intellectually. She begins by noting that in the 19th century most commentators saw men as being intellectually superior to women, which was often determined with beliefs about their abilities with language. But she also observes that this position was gradually modified in the 20th century, that is, until the 1990s, when there was a sudden resurgence of the essentialist idea of difference, this time with many writers concluding that women were programmed to be the better language users. Cameron refutes the claims of a number of recent popular self-help books on the subject, and then proceeds to show how many of the more supposedly scientific books employ psychobabble to make similar claims about the alleged hard-wired intellectual differences between men and women. The question then becomes, why is it that this essentialist view has caught on when there is so little real evidence? Cameron suggests that it is in part a way of responding to the pervasive anxiety brought about by massive social changes in the roles of men and women. She also cautions that this new essentialism is having potentially drastic consequences on the theories and practice of how boys and girls, men and women, are educated.


Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Heftet
Utgitt 2013 Forfatter Deborah Cameron
ISBN 9781553802211
Antall sider 34 Dimensjoner 14,5cm x 23cm x 0,5cm
Vekt 90 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Sociolinguistics, Anthropology, Gender studies, gender groups