Gender and the Third Wave of variation study
Keywords:gender, persona, social categories, social meaning, stylistic practice, Third Wave, variation
In the past thirty years, the study of sociolinguistic variation has moved its focus ‘inside’ the speaker – from macrosocial categories to local categories, to the personae that inhabit categories and to the stylistic practice in which personae entangle themselves in the social landscape. This latter stage has commonly been called the Third Wave and is indeed inspired by third wave feminism, as the focus has turned from the gender binary to the range of gendered personae. This article traces my participation in these developments, beginning with the Berkeley Women and Language Group conferences and unfolding in a student-run seminar at Stanford.
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