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She were a cracker: Talking gender and sexuality at work Dr. Louise Mullany University of Nottingham, UK Gender and Language BAAL SIG: Gender and Corpus.

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Presentation on theme: "She were a cracker: Talking gender and sexuality at work Dr. Louise Mullany University of Nottingham, UK Gender and Language BAAL SIG: Gender and Corpus."— Presentation transcript:

1 She were a cracker: Talking gender and sexuality at work Dr. Louise Mullany University of Nottingham, UK Gender and Language BAAL SIG: Gender and Corpus Linguistics Lancaster University 30th March 2010

2 doing gender (Butler 1999; 2004) Gender identities as contested, pluralised and fluid Introduction Gender, sexual, personal and professional identities Hegemonic Discourses: broader social structuration (Sunderland 2004; Baker 2008)

3 Mixed methodologies (Holmes & Meyerhoff 2003; Swann & Maybin 2008; Mullany 2008) Away from armed camps (Silverman 2000: 10) Quantitative, survey approaches: corpus linguistic tools and techniques Qualitative approaches Methodology

4 Approaches Indexicality of gender identity (Ochs 1992) Direct indexicality: girl/boy: talk-in-interaction/CA (Stokoe and Smithson 2001) Indirect indexicality: expectations, norms: indexing social meanings: how gender is relevant (McElhinny 2003) Feminine and masculine CofPs (Holmes and Stubbe 2003)

5 CANBEC 24 companies in total: Internal v External (Handford 2007) Manufacturing, IT, telecommunications, pub chain, travel agents, accountants, museum, magazine, hotel, management consultancy, finance/banking Recordings: UK, also Ireland, Spain, Germany, Japan Range of private companies and speakers Meetings: 912,734 words Handford and McCarthy (2004)

6 Company type: Words in 1000s (Handford 2007: 76)

7 Gender and CANBEC Corpus tagging Gender make up: 79% men 21% women Gender, professional role, status

8 Gendered termFREQUENCIES boy14212 boys27198 girl29227 girls21183 man man (occupational titles) men woman woman (occupational titles) 000 women17611 lad28 0 lads96 0 lass/lassie lasses guy guys

9 Girl: random sample

10 Data External meeting: Manufacturing Hydraulics Company & Tyre Company Sales/Negotiation All male meeting: 7 participants Tyres: M3, M5, M6 Hydraulics: M1, M2, M4, M7 Age: 30-39: 3; 40-49: 3; 50-59: 1

11 Analysis: frequencies Direct indexicality: gender as topic she girl woman bird last night: emerges as a narrative topic about the same female referent

12 Give us a phone call a bit like thatbirdlast night she was gonna have it Oh right which one was that? This All the drugs trying to keep that bird had fell out the ugly tree and had a out of his room sitting in it (laughter) scarywomanwas she? She was like Joe on steroids cos you may well have awomanreplacement for yourself but they are All Data © Cambridge University Press

13 Mick I did in my own little wayshewas so drunk shell never remember You told her that I tell you whatshedgot a cracking pair of legs on her you know nice cuppa thank you (2 sec)shewas gonna have it any way which way but The bicycle thing yeah I thinkshewas just a tease she did the job on you No I just sort of did that laughtershepicked up chair and went over and sat All Data © Cambridge University Press She was gonna have it any way which way but loose last night. 27/32 instances of she: same referent: woman who they had met socially last night Evidence of a recurrent narrative topic: last night: Explore as a two- word cluster:

14 Did you have a good nightlast nightI did yeah we were just saying was (laughter) you told melast nightId got a job here (1 sec) same trying to find James oh oh rightlast nightbe my guest Im saying nothing laughs cos we could have scoredlast nightyeah definitely Mick you made us a phone call bit like that birdlast nightShe was gonna have it both ways any way which way but looselast nighttill contraceptive came in (10 sec) Off (4 sec) laughter that girllast nightIf youd played your cards right thats why you went choir singinglast nightYou cant believe them they they a lot for you ho= hospitalitylast nightAnd thank you very much for the he spoilt my fucking eveninglast nightDidnt he (1 sec) fucking hell Rod All Data © Cambridge University Press Strategic positioning of this narrative: See Mullany (forthcoming)

15 Qualitative analysis Multifunctionality of: Narrative: strategic positioning Humour: banter, insults, sexist humour small talk core business talk (Holmes 2000) Display of dominant hegemonic masculinist identities through these discourse devices

16 Opening Did you have a good night last night? I did yeah We were just saying that's all (1 sec) part of it and it gives you that little bit of a buzz for the next day for (1 sec) you know the business side […] Morning Cecil Morning Are you coming Are you joining us? I no I'm trying to find James Oh oh right last night Be my guest I'm saying nothing good company then Eh she were a cracker All Data © Cambridge University Press

17 Mid-meeting Yeah so if you elay= me and Mick Okay yeah Rod and I Yep George But give us a phone call Yeah I will yeah You'll get it both ways Give us a phone call A bit like that bird last night She was gonna have it both ways until you put your fucking nose in Nice cuppa She was gonna have it any way which way but loose last night Till contraceptive came in All Data © Cambridge University Press

18 Negotiation Hundred and twenty two hundred fucking hell Can you tell us what's gone down please (1 sec) ((laughs)) Do you normally get both? Level of service that's {dropping off} ((4 sec laughter)) That girl last night if you'd played your cards right Yeah (4 sec) ((raucous laughter)) You played your cards right If you hadn't of hadn't have interfered ((laughter)) What if I'd have gone and sat on another table on my own Yeah and then it might have been all right We did hint We did hint All Data © Cambridge University Press

19 Closing Thanks very much for the business I think on on behalf of of the three of us thanks a lot for your ho= hospitality last night and thank you very much for the {xxxx} Thanks a lot Thank you The only thing is that on the next review meeting could we keep it too two members of the Yeah be interested in coming anymore Cos one member Duncan won't be able to make it Cos he won't be breathing […] Do you want me book three rooms for you? Please All Data © Cambridge University Press

20 Closing Double for you and Rodney single for Dunc cos he won't need+ No no+ +anything else will he +bugger his room he can stay in the car nice spring You got a double together? He spoilt my fucking evening la= last night didn't he All Data © Cambridge University Press

21 Discussion Co-construction of multiple identities Stereotypically masculine CofP: Last night narrative: hegemonic masculinist heroes (M3, M5) and anti-hero (M6) Expletives Humour: Sexist humour, banter, insults Transactional & affective talk: inextricably interlinked Pluralised masculinities Dominant hegemonic discourse of heterosexual masculinity (Coates 2003; Sauntson 2008; Baker 2008)

22 Conclusions Direct indexing of gender terms: mixed methods through corpus linguistics as initial survey approach Dominant hegemonic discourse of heterosexual masculinity in this masculine manufacturing CofP Integral and multifunctional role of humour, narrative, small/social talk Strategic positioning of narrative: Openings, negotiation, conflict/tension releaser, closings, solidarity-building, social distancing

23 References Handford, M & M. McCarthy (2004) Invisible to us: A preliminary corpus- based study of spoken business English. In T. Upton & U. Connor (eds) Discourse in the Professions: Perspectives from Corpus Linguistics. pp Baker, P. (2008) Sexed Texts. London: Equinox Butler, J. (1999) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Second Edition. New York: Routledge. Butler, J. (2004) Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge. Coates, J. (2003) Men Talk. Oxford: Blackwell. Handford, M & M. McCarthy (2004) Invisible to us: A preliminary corpus- based study of spoken business English. In T. Upton & U. Connor (eds) Discourse in the Professions: Perspectives from Corpus Linguistics. pp Handford, M. (2007) The Genre of the Business Meeting: A Corpus Based Study. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Nottingham: University of Nottingham. Holmes, J. (2000) Doing collegiality and keeping control at work: small talk in government departments. In J.Coupland (ed.) Small Talk. Harlow: Pearson, pp Holmes, J. and M. Meyerhoff (2003) Different voices, different views: An introduction to current research in language and gender. In J. Holmes and M. Meyerhoff (eds) The Handbook of Language and Gender. Oxford: Blackwell, pp

24 References Holmes, J. and Stubbe, M. (2003) `Feminine workplaces: stereotype and reality. In Holmes, J. and Meyerhoff, M. eds. The Handbook of Language and Gender, Oxford, Blackwell, pp McElhinny, B. (2003) Theorizing gender in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. In J.Holmes and M. Meyerhoff (eds) The Handbook of Language and Gender. Oxford: Blackwell, pp Mullany, L. (2008) Negotiating methodologies: Making language and gender relevant in the professional workplace. In K. Harrington, L. Litosseliti, H. Sauntson and J. Sunderland (eds) Gender and Language Research Methodologies. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp Mullany, L. (forthcoming) Managers performing masculinities in business meetings: What we did last night. In J. Angouri & M. Marra (eds) Identities at Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Ochs, E. (1992) Indexing gender. In A. Duranti & C. Goodwin (eds) Rethinking Context: Language as an Interactive Phenomenon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp

25 References Sauntson, H. (2008)The contribution of queer theory to gender and language research. In: K. Harrington, L. Litosseliti, H. Sauntson and J. Sunderland (eds.), Gender and Language Research Methodologies, 271–282. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Silverman, D. (2000) Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide. London: Sage. Stokoe, E.H., & J. Smithson ( 2001) Making gender relevant: Conversation analysis and gender categories in interaction. Discourse & Society, 12: Sunderland, J. (2004) Gendered Discourses. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Swann, J. and J. Maybin (2008) Sociolinguistic and ethnographic approaches to language and gender. In K. Harrington, L. Litosseliti, H. Sauntson and J. Sunderland (eds) Gender and Language Research Methodologies Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp


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