Language, gender and sexuality in 2020

forward Global South


  • Jaspal Naveel Singh The University of Hong Kong



embodiment, Global South, masculinity, media, resistance, scales


The Global South is a postcolonial imagined community that bears the potential to imagine powerful south-south solidarity between the struggles for decoloniality of diverse populations across the world. To prepare our field’s pan-global future, this year-in-review overrepresents literature on gender, sexuality and language from/on the Global South. This decolonial move aims to notice and promote southern tactics of resistance, southern epistemologies and southern theories and evaluate what can be learnt if we look southward on our way forward. Some literature from the Global North will be considered too. The review is structured using three overlapping foci: (1) embodied and linguistic resistance, (2) mediatisation and scale and (3) fragile masculinities. I conclude by suggesting that our research should stay locally situated and globally radical.

Author Biography

Jaspal Naveel Singh, The University of Hong Kong

Jaspal Naveel Singh is a sociolinguist and linguistic ethnographer interested in the intersections between language, society and culture. He aims to promote a type of research that complexifies standard approaches in the social sciences and problematises research ethics and common-sense writing strategies. His first book, Transcultural Voices: Narrating Hip Hop Culture in Complex Delhi, will appear with Multilingual Matters in October 2021.


Al-Ali, Nadje (2020) Covid-19 and feminism in the Global South: challenges, initiatives and dilemmas. European Journal of Women’s Studies 27(4): 333–347.

Alim, H. Samy, Lee, Jooyoung, Carris, Lauren Mason and Williams, Quentin E. (2020) Language, race, and the (trans)formation of cisheteropatriarchy. In H. Samy Alim, Angela Reyes and Paul V. Kroskrity (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Race 291–314. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bekker, Ian and Levon, Erez (2020) Parodies of whiteness: Die Antwoord and politics of race, gender, and class in South Africa. Language in Society 49(1): 115–147.

Bhatia, Kiran Vinod and Gajjala, Radhika (2020) Examining anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh: Muslim women and politics of the Hindu India. International Journal of Communication 14: 6286–6303.

Bogetic, Ksenija (2020) Co-opting the neoliberal manhood ideal: masculinity, normativity, and recursive normalisation in Serbian gay men’s digital dating profiles. Language in Society 50(1): 93–123. https://doi:10.1017/S0047404520000639

Borba, Rodrigo (2019) Injurious signs: the geopolitics of hate and hope in the linguistic landscape of a political crisis. In Amiena Peck, Christopher Stroud and Quentin E. Williams (eds) Making Sense of People and Place in Linguistic Landscapes 161–181. London: Bloomsbury.

Borba, Rodrigo, Hall, Kira and Hiramoto, Mie (2020) Feminist refusal meets enmity. Gender and Language 14(1): 1–7.

Borba, Rodrigo and Silva, Danillo da Conceição Pereira (2020) Swings and scales of democracy: the ‘transgender epidemic’ and resistance to antigenderism. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 1916–1945.

Bucholtz, Mary and Hall, Kira (2016) Embodied sociolinguistics. In Nikolas Coupland (ed) Sociolinguistics: Theoretical Debates 173–197. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Caldas-Coulthard, Carmen Rosa (ed) (2020) Innovations and Challenges: Women, Language and Sexism. London: Routledge.

Caldas-Coulthard, Carmen Rosa and Moon, Rosamund (2020) The transgressive, the traditional: sexist discourses of grandmothering and ageing. In Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard (ed) Innovations and Challenges: Women, Language and Sexism 34–59. London: Routledge.

Calder, Jeremy (2020) Language, gender and sexuality in 2019: interrogating normativities in the field. Gender and Language 14(4): 429–454.

Cameron, Deborah (2020) Language and gender: mainstreaming and the persistence of patriarch. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 263: 25–30.

Campbell, Baird and Haynes, Nell (2020) Constructing the digital self in the Global South. Journal of Language and Sexuality 9(1): 1–13.

Chimbwete-Phiri, Rachel and Schnurr, Stephanie (2020) ‘We are breastfeeding, right?’ exploring the discourse of male healthcare providers in antenatal consultations in Malawi. In Joanne McDowell (ed) De-gendering Gendered Occupations: Analysing Professional Discourse 41–61. London: Routledge.

Coburn, Elaine and LaRocque, Emma (2020) Gender and sexuality: indigenous feminist perspectives. In Manon Tremblay and Joanna Everitt (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Gender, Sexuality, and Canadian Politics 101–119. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Conrod, Kirby (2020) Pronouns and gender in language. In Kira Hall and Rusty Barrett (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Diabah, Grace (2020) Projecting masculinities or breaking sociolinguistic norms? the role of women’s representation in students’ profane language use. Gender and Language 14(1): 99–120.

de Araujo, Etyelle Pinheiro, Biar, Liana de Andrade and Bastos, Liliana Cabral (2020) Engagement in social movement and the fight for justice: A study on the narratives of black mothers. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 1688–1709.

Ellece, Sibonile E. (2020) Homophobia and the media: a sample critical discourse analysis. In Kira Hall and Rusty Barrett (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fabrício, Branca Falabella and Moita-Lopes, Luiz Paulo (2019) Creating queer moments at a Brazilian school by forging innovative sociolinguistic scalar perspectives in classrooms. In Jón Ingvar Kjaran and Helen Sauntson (eds) Schools as Queer Transformative Spaces: Global Narratives on Sexualities and Genders 35–53. London: Routledge.

Friend, Juliana (2020) Sutura 2.0: queer biocommunicability and digital self-making in Senegalese eHealth activism. Journal of Language and Sexuality 9(1): 14–47.

Fukuda, Chie (2020) Identity and category construction of the sengyoshufu (‘househusband’) in Japanese TV shows: a gendered division of labour in transition. Gender and Language 14(3): 263–285.

García-Gómez, Antonio (2020) Discursive representation of masculinity and femininity in Tinder and Grindr: hegemonic masculinity, feminine devaluation and femmephobia. Discourse and Society 31(4): 390–410.

Gray, John and Baynham, Mike (2020) Narratives of queer migration. In Kira Hall and Rusty Barrett (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hadodo, Matthew John and Kanwit, Matthew (2020) Menos masculino, demasiado infantil: how age and gender ideologies index sexuality in diminutive perception in Madrid Spanish. Journal of Language and Sexuality 9(2): 127–151.

Hall, Kira, Borba, Rodrigo and Hiramoto, Mie (2020) Language and gender. In James Stanlaw (ed) The International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology.

Haynes, Nell (2020) ‘Overloaded like a Bolivian truck’: discursive constructions of gender, race, and nationalism in northern Chilean memes. Journal of Language and Sexuality 9(1): 69–92.

Heinrichsmeier, Rachel (2020) Ageing Identities and Women’s Everyday Talk in a Hair Salon. London: Routledge.

Heritage, Frazer and Koller, Veronika (2020) Incels, in-groups, and ideologies: the representation of gendered social actors in a sexuality-based online community. Journal of Language and Sexuality 9(2): 152–178.

Hiramoto, Mie, Borba, Rodrigo and Hall, Kira (2020) Hope in a time of crisis. Gender and Language 14(4): 347–357.

Jones, Lucy (2020) Subverting transphobia and challenging ignorance: the interactive construction of resistant identity in a community of practice of transgender youth. Journal of Language and Discrimination 4(2): 149–171.

Koh, Kyung-Nan (2020) Scaling femininity: production of semiotic economy in the South Korean cosmetics industry. Signs and Society 8(2): 356–368.

Konstantinovskaia, Natalia (2020) Creation of femininity in Japanese televised ‘beauty ads’: traditional values, kawaii cuteness, and a dash of feminism. Gender and Language 14(3): 305–325.

Lazar, Michelle M. and Ke, Sun (2020) Cultural dilemmas of motherhood and gendered public/private spheres: the case of a remediatized Chinese reality show. Discourse, Context & Media 38: 100443.

Lee, Jerry Won and Dovchin, Sender (eds) Translinguistics: Negotiating Innovation and Ordinariness. London: Routledge.

Li, Kunming and Blommaert, Jan (2020) ‘Please abuse me’: ludic-carnivalesque female masochism on Sina Weibo. Gender and Language 14(1): 28–48.

Maree, Claire (2020) Queerqueen: Linguistic Excess in Japanese Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Marino, Francesca (2020) Maori gender non-conforming identity: analysing the ‘takatapui’ discourse. Multimodal Communication 9(1).

Marques, Djankaw Matheus and Camargo, Mabia (2020) Studying quilombola practices of resistance on Instagram. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 1946–1956.

Martin-Anatias, Nelly (2020) Code-switching or bahasa gado-gado in discussion of homosexuality in Indonesian films. Journal of Homosexuality 67(11): 1542–1564.

McDowell, Joanne (ed) (2020) De-gendering Gendered Occupations: Analysing Professional Discourse. London: Routledge.

McIntosh, Janet and Mendoza-Denton, Norma (eds) (2020) Language in the Trump Era: Scandals and Emergencies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Milani, Tommaso M., Awayed-Bishara, Muzna, Gafter, Roey J. and Levon, Erez (2020) When the checkpoint becomes a counterpoint: stasis as queer dissent. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 1659–1687.

Milani, Tommaso M. and Lazar, Michelle M. (2017) Seeing from the South: discourse, gender and sexuality from southern perspectives. Journal of Sociolinguistics 21(3): 307–319.

Moita-Lopes, Luiz Paulo and Plaza Pinto, Joana (2020) Putting into perspective resistance discursive practices in our contemporary democracies: an introduction. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 1613–1635.

Morgan, Marcyliena (2020) ‘We don’t play’: Black women’s linguistic authority across race, class, and gender. In H. Samy Alim, Angela Reyes and Paul V. Kroskrity (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Race 261–290. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Motschenbacher, Heiko (2020) Affective regimes on Wilton Drive: a multimodal analysis. Social Semiotics.

Nakamura, Momoko (2020a) Language, gender and sexuality in Japanese popular media. Gender and Language 14(3): 221–225.

Nakamura, Momoko (2020b) The formation of a sociolinguistic style in translation: cool and informal non-Japanese masculinity. Gender and Language 14(3): 244–262.

Nguyen, Thi Hong Nhung (2020) De-gendering communicative English classrooms in Vietnam: a case study of a male teacher in a female profession. In Joanne McDowell (ed) De-gendering Gendered Occupations: Analysing Professional Discourse 113–139. London: Routledge.

Pakula, Lukasz and Chojnicka, Joanna (2020) When the obligation to be neutral becomes the right to discriminate: discursive struggles over LGBT+ rights at Polish universities. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 1758–1783.

Pennycook, Alastair and Makoni, Sinfree (2020) Innovations and Challenges in Applied Linguistics from the Global South. London: Routledge.

Pua, Phoebe and Hiramoto, Mie (2020) White hot heroes: semiotics of race and sexuality in Hollywood ninja films. Language and Communication 72: 56–67.

Rosa, Jonathan and Flores, Nelson (2017) Unsettling race and language: toward a raciolinguistic perspective. Language in Society 46(5): 621–647.

Rojas-Sosa, Deyanira (2020) ‘Should Latinas go blond?’ media representation and the regulation of Latina bodies and Latinas’ social and cultural practices in a beauty magazine. Gender and Language 14(1): 49–72.

Rowlett, Benedict J.L. (2020) Second language socialization in the margins: queering the paradigm. Multilingua 39(6): 631–662.

Russell, Eric Louis (2020) New communication, new enquiries… new linguistics? Journal of Language and Sexuality 9(1): 93–95.

Saito, Junko (2020) Contesting and advocating gender ideologies: an analysis of sarariman (salaried men) characters’ hegemonic masculinities in a Japanese TV drama. Gender and Language 14(3): 286–304.

Silva, Daniel N. and Lee, Jerry Won (2021) ‘Marielle, presente’: metaleptic temporality and the enregisterment of hope in Rio de Janeiro. Journal of Sociolinguistics 25(2): 179–197.

Silva, Marluce Pereira da and Rosado, Cid Augusto da Escóssia (2020) ‘O furo a qualquer preço’: práticas discursivas de poder e resistência ante atitudes machistas em cenário de democracia frágil [‘The scoop at any price’: discursive practices of power and resistance centered on male chauvinism as a sign of democratic fragility]. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 2050–2070.

Sinanan, Jolynna (2020) ‘Choose yourself?’: communicating normative pressures and individual distinction on Facebook and Instagram. Journal of Language and Sexuality 9(1): 48–68.

Starr, Rebecca Lurie, Wang, Tianxiao and Go, Christian (2020) Sexuality vs. sensuality: the multimodal construction of affective stance in Chinese ASMR performances. Journal of Sociolinguistics 24(4): 492–513.

Stroud, Christopher, Williams, Quentin E., Bontiya, Ndimphiwe, Harry, Janine, Kapa, Koki, Mayoma, Jaclisse, Mpendukana, Sibonile, Peck, Amiena, Richardson, Jason and Roux, Shanleigh (2020) Talking parts, talking back: fleshing out linguistic citizenship. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(3): 1636–1658.

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi and Shibamoto-Smith, Janet (2020) The fathers of Massan: what an NHK Asadora tells us about Japanese fatherhood. Japanese Studies 40(2): 195–217.

Taylor, Diana (2020) ¡Presente! The Politics of Presence. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Unser-Schutz, Giancarla (2020) Nerdy girls talking gross: popular perceptions on the quality, role and influence of language in manga. Gender and Language 14(3): 326–346.

Vandana (2020) Dalit girls and sexual harassment in the university. Indian Journal of Gender Studies 27(1): 33–54.

Vanyoro, Kudzaiishe (2020) Learning how language is used in higher education to strategically marginalise female, queer, and gender non-conforming people: an autoethnographic account. Educational Research for Social Change 9: 1–14.

Washington, Adrienne Ronee (2020) ‘Reclaiming my time’: signifying, reclamation and the activist strategies of Black women’s language. Gender and Language 14(4): 358–385.

Zimman, Lal (2020) Transgender language, transgender moment: toward a trans linguistics. In Kira Hall and Rusty Barrett (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



How to Cite

Singh, J. N. (2021). Language, gender and sexuality in 2020: forward Global South. Gender and Language, 15(2), 207–230.



Language, Gender and Sexuality in Review