The days of our lives

Language, gender and affluence on a daytime television drama


  • Robin Queen University of Michigan



gender and class, mass media, daytime dramas


In this article, I discuss the results of a small case study of one daytime serial drama in the United States and show that it links the macro-social category of gender to desire for upward social mobility through the use of linguistic tropes that conventionally index both gender and social class. This connection is critical to the more general commercial imperative inherent in the daytime drama to connect consumers with advertised products. In the case of this daytime drama, male characters are shown to disrupt stereotypical norms of masculinity at least in part through a sociolinguistic package that includes linguistic strategies stereotypically associated with upward social mobility and wealthy lifestyles. In so doing, male characters become critical to the entailment of wealth and social privilege as normative values while female characters reinforce the same normativity through their own sociolinguistic patterns.

Author Biography

  • Robin Queen, University of Michigan

    Robin Queen is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Germanic languages and literatures at the University of Michigan






How to Cite

Queen, R. (2012). The days of our lives: Language, gender and affluence on a daytime television drama. Gender and Language, 6(1), 153-180.