Masculinity or Femininity: Questioning Social Gender of Personal Nouns

Liang Zhao


Since essentialism and binarism of gender is challenged in gender studies, poststructuralists argue for a more deconstructive perspective of gender. Through a survey on social gender of thirty lexically female and male Chinese personal nouns, this research tends to examine: 1) how lexically female and male personal nouns are socially gendered in language use, 2) how such social gendering affects sex stereotyping. Combining a langue-oriented and structuralist framework with a parole-oriented and poststructuralist perspective, the author shows that diversified language use encourages coining of new lexical forms. Along with this process transitions and shifts happen to traditional sex stereotypes. This research encourages more similar research with combined structuralist and poststructuralist approaches on the interrelationship between gender and language. (Personal nouns, social gender, sex stereotypes, gender representation)

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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