• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Linguistics biasness amongst men and women in Malaysia

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Linguistics biasness amongst men and women in Malaysia Introduction The feminist movement in the 1970s has paved the way for reform of the use of sexist language. Traditionally, the word ?he? or ?man? as in ?mankind? has been used to describe both sexes. Pauwels (2001) conducted a study on the use of gender pronouns in Australian public speech and found that the masculine generic pronoun ?he? was used extensively and almost exclusively (approximately 95%) in the pre-reform era (1960s and 1970s). The language used portrayed a very androcentric world. Feminist argued that women?s rights and equality were at stake when their identity fell under the blanket of a male symbol (Spenders, 1980 as cited in Holmes & Meyerhoff, 2003). As men were traditionally in organisational roles, they were prominent in language planning and policy making (Pauwels, 2001). In the pre-reform era, the generic ?he? and ?man? still evoked a mental imaginary of the male sex and masculinity (Pauwels, 2001). A few studies have showed that sex bias in language elicits sex bias in attitudes and thoughts (Pauwels 1998). Through time, women have continued to challenge the boundaries of their role in society, breaking beyond the identity of a homemaker. Hence feminist commentators called for a need for language reform and gender-neutral pronouns. ...read more.

Middle

Graph 1 also provides a view of Ms usage percentage across the participants. All participants, both women and men used Miss to address a female child. Only 2 women and 1 man would use Ms to address a teenage girl. Almost half (40%) of the female participants would use Ms to address a woman between the ages of 18 to 45 whereas only 23% of the male participants would use Ms to address the women in that age bracket. The difference may be due to a woman?s awareness of this issue being ?experiential? (Pauwels & Winter, 2003). A woman is more likely to come across linguistic discrimination in her past or current situation. Conversely, a man?s awareness of this issue would come second-hand from a woman in his life or being taught in work, university or school (Pauwels & Winter, 2003). The response for using the title Ms for a woman above the age of 45 is even stronger amongst female participants. It accounts for 67% while men only 46%. The other proportion of men would use the title Mrs instead. This could be due to the cultural pressure in Malaysia for women to get married by a certain age. It is thought that a ?good? woman should be married by a certain age and would most likely be married by the age of 45. ...read more.

Conclusion

4 (27%) Child (he) 5 (38%) 5 (33%) Gender-neutral (she/he) 4 (31%) 7 (47%) She 4 (31%) 3 (20%) Conclusion This study confirms the hypothesis that women in Malaysia do use more gender neutral pronouns/ terms and prefer the use of Ms. The generic he is still preferred by men. Nouns which are not strongly linked to any particular gender like child had pronoun usage fairly evenly spread between he, she and she/he. The usage of singular they/ their was not observed. The stereotype of a strong masculine Asian man who provides for his family while the woman stays at home may still be a strong one in Malaysia. Some terms such as humankind are still not as popular. The wave of feminism has only recently influenced Malaysia but the awareness of equality especially amongst women has definitely come along. That being said, this study had a small sample size (n=28) and may not be representative of the whole Malaysian population. Follow-up interviews may also be useful in the future as some conversations heard between participants reveal some interesting points for discussion. More future research will need to be conducted to follow this issue in Malaysia. It will also be useful to conduct an apparent time study in the future to track the trends of linguistic biasness or lack off as Malaysia actively takes on the task of improving women?s rights and to fulfil its vision of being on par with first world countries by 2020. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Creative Writing section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Creative Writing essays

  1. Case Study of Three Counselling Sessions.

    I then continued by asking Val how she" had been since I'd last seen her" as she had, had to cancel a session due to illness. I then tried to refocus the session by saying, "can I take you back ".

  2. The first reference to speech personality was made by L.Weisgerber. In Russian linguistics the ...

    First level - linguo-cognitive level, represented by a thesaurus of speech personality: - units: ideas and concepts which are combined in a well organized and systematized world picture of a certain speech personality which reflects his or her values and

  1. corpus and concordance in comparing grammar in both speech and writing

    Why pick on me?' 'I've told you ... you --> pronoun + obviously --> adverb + had --> finite + play --> verb infinitive you --> participant + obviously --> circumstance + had --> process + play circumstance Two clauses, starting with when as a subordination conjunction, the first clause is dependent and the second is dependent.

  2. Free essay

    In what ways do you think current communication technologies are affecting the way we ...

    a daily basis and may feel that their social responsibilities are being met but critics of online social networking web sites claim that these sites take away from the time people spend interacting with each other in person. Conversely, supporters of online social networking consider interaction on web sites such

  1. Discuss the Power of Language and the value of language diversity.

    The death of languages ultimately means extinction of unique cultures. In his book 'Language Death' (2000), British Linguist David Crystal states that there are over 6,000 languages and many of them are on the brink of extinction at an alarming rate - 4% of languages accounting for 96% of people and 25% with fewer than 1000 speakers.

  2. A Sociolinguistic study. Is there such a thing as mens and womens language? ...

    charming, cute), precise color terms (e.g. magenta, aquamarine), intensifiers such as just and so (e.g. I like him so much), ?hypercorrect? grammar (e.g. consistent use of standard verb forms), ?superpolite? forms (e.g. indirect requests, euphemisms), avoidance of strong swear words (e.g.

  1. Autobiographical piece and reflective commentary. December 5th, 2009. I am standing in the ...

    we got to perform it at the Colston Hall, and I even spoke to the Lady Mayoress. That was a happy time. But mostly the negatives stick out. Strange how for a long time, I only chose to remember the good bits in my relationship, so I could keep it going.

  2. Personal Essay | How has a place influenced you?

    I was seven years old, innocent, and entirely believed my five-year-old brother when he told me that it was a real diamond. I woke every morning and admired the rainbows that it cast across my room. But what I really admired was the place that this horse came from.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work