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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LING2380 Language and Gender

20 creditsClass Size: 23

Module manager: Ruth Payne

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are required to have completed one of the following modules, or equivalent:
• LING1100 Language: Meaning and Use
• ENGL2024 Language in Society
Students who have not completed LING1100 Language: Meaning and Use should be prepared to do some additional reading to familiarise themselves with linguistic concepts built on in this module. Chapters 7 to 15 of Genetti’s How languages work: An introduction to language and linguistics (Cambridge University Press, 2014) are a good starting point.

This module is mutually exclusive with

LING3180Language and Gender

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the relationship between language, gender and sexualities by engaging with (English) texts and media that sustain cultural ideas about gendered identities. The module specifically considers the suggestion that men and women use spoken language in different ways, taking into account early approaches to work in the field of language and gender. The module also covers areas of spoken and written language that contribute to the construction of ideas about masculinity and femininity against a backdrop of heteronormativity and cultural assumptions about gendered roles. Students are expected to have been introduced to sociolinguistic analysis on a Level 1 or 2 module in linguistics or English Language before enrolling on this module.


This module aims to:
(1) help students to engage with texts and discourses in relation to ideas about language and gender
(2) identify culturally-related assumptions about gender
(3) show the development of research relating to language and gender
(4) track the move away from early discussions about 'women's language' and move towards approaches that explore gender as a cultural construct

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
(1) explain historical and theoretical developments in the field of language and gender research in relation to issues of both language structure and language usage, including the so-called 'move to discourse' and post-structuralism
(2) understand the role played by language in the construction of gendered identities in a variety of spoken and written contexts
(3) employ a range of concepts for analysing written texts in relation to the representation and construction of gender and sexuality
(4) apply their understanding of language in relation to the representation and construction of gendered identities by drawing on their own experiences


The first part of this module focuses on research undertaken primarily in the 1970s and 1980s. Here we look at the question of 'sexist language' as well as some of the possible differences that were proposed between male and female language usage. We then go on to consider developments in this field since the 1990s. Around this time, language and gender researchers began to pay attention not only to the study of feminine identities but also masculinities. Here we also explore the so-called 'move to discourse' where gender became increasingly seen as a social category that is actively constructed through the use of language as opposed to simply 'reflected' by it. We also consider the rapidly growing field of language and sexual identities.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to devote 180 hours of private study time to this module, with the following suggested breakdown:
• Preparation for seminars: (5x2=) 10 hours
• Background reading: 50 hours
• Preparation for written assignments: 120 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Monitoring of student progress and formative feedback provision take place through written formative feedback on both coursework assignments and through monitoring of contributions during teaching time.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000-word essay60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:25:36


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