Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Semantics,vocabulary,semantic

A Study on Gender Differences and Similarities in Language of the Character Reports

Author HuZhengZuo
Tutor CaoJin
School Northwest Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords gender language ideology critical discourse analysis markedness
CLC H313
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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As a social closely related issue, in recent years, language and gender has been studied by many scholars. However, much work has been devoted to analysis of the whole English register. Few researches have been paid attention to the concrete manifestation of gendered language in discourses and the aboutness of texts. Mainly for the above reasons, combined with qualitative and quantitative research methods, the current thesis aims at the differences and similarities in presenting female and male from lexical perspective, and through lexicon related discourse analysis explores the connection between the vocabulary and the dominant gender ideologies of the magazine.The research procedure in the thesis is proposed on the grounds of the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) (Fairclough, 1989) and by reference to the Markedness theory (Trubetzkoy, 1931/1939). The two theories relate to power, ideology and scan for the gendered linguistic features, and both of them will help effectively to answer the debate on power distribution between women and men. In the present study, according to features of the most frequent words and key words which are calculated from the selected texts, transitivity analysis of systemic-functional grammar analysis is mainly applied in the study.The thesis collects 24 texts about man and 17 texts about woman from American magazine Reader‘s Digest. By reference to the analyzing means of Del-Teso-Craviotto, Marisol (2006), target texts are analyzed from three aspects: first, the positive key words and negatives words are tabulated with the help of KeyWord Program of AntConc Tool (Laurence, 2000); second, most frequent words are computed by the WordList program of AntConc Tool (Laurence, 2000); third, transitivity analysis is conducted. Different from Del-Teso-Craviotto (2006), in the current study, the markedness theory is added to the gender language study, and transitivity analysis of systemic-functional grammar analysis is used. In this process, key words and most frequent words ensure that words which are selected for discussion are ideologically related. Transitivity analysis helps identify the ideologies carried by a lemma for its different usages.The different ways of construction of female and male images reflect the fact that the magazine tries to adopt common words and neutral language that the editors think appropriate to their readers in representing female and male characters. In some cases, women‘s roles in labor are supported. Whereas, discursive representations on women give a biased portray since women are subordinate to men and closely family-related and children-related. Meanwhile, portrayed women are weak while men are represented as strong in reports on men. This study conducts a primarily study of media discourse analysis of English gender reports in CDA and markedness theory. The practical significant relies on offering a different analysis perspective to readers, so as to remind readers‘awareness of hidden ideologies between lines.

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