• Linguistic Variation and Change (Edinburgh Sociolinguistics)
    Linguistic Variation and Change (Edinburgh Sociolinguistics)
    by Scott F. Kiesling
Blog Index

Language and Masculinities

My dissertation work focused on gender identity, particularly on masculinity. This work is important because, rather than investigating how marginalized or subordinate groups create identity in society, I ask how dominant groups create identity. Because part of the power of these groups is based on their invisibility or assumed normativity, this project is considerably difficult. Nevertheless, I believe I have seen the outlines of how such a theoretical approach is possible, beginning in my dissertation but evolving and developing over the years since. In those years, I have examined other aspects of the fraternity men's identities, by investigating how they display race (whiteness) and sexuality (heterosexuality). I have also focused on diversity among the men, and I have shown what kind of diversity there is in the men's identities, and even on how a single man creates diverse versions of a masculine identity.

I also wrote a paper about the address term Dude, which garnered a bit of press in 2004.

Publications on masculinities and language

2011. “Masculinities, desire, and discourse.” Gender and Language 5(2): 213-139.

2007. “Men, Masculinities, and Language.” Blackwell Linguistics and Language Compass 1,6: 653-673. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-818X.2007.00035.x

2006. “Hegemonic Identity-making in Narrative.” In Discourse and Identity, Anna De Fina, Deborah Schiffrin & Michael Bamberg (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp.261-287.

2005. “Homosocial Desire in Men’s Talk: Balancing and Recreating Cultural Discourses of Masculinity.” Language in Society 34,5: 695-727.

2004. “Dude.” American Speech. 79, 3: 281-305.
Reprinted (in press) in Men and Masculinities: Critical Concepts in Sociology, Stephen M. Whitehead (ed.), London: Routledge.

2001 “‘Now I Gotta Watch What I Say’: Shifting Constructions of Gender and Dominance in Discourse.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 11,2: 250-273

2001 “Stances of Whiteness and Hegemony in Fraternity Men’s Discourse” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 11,1: 101-115.

1998 “Men’s Identities and Sociolinguistic Variation: The Case of Fraternity Men.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 2:1, 69-100.

1997 “Shifting Constructions of Gender in a Fraternity.” Working Papers in Language, Gender, and Sexism, 7,1: 53-96.

1997 “From the ‘Margins’ to the ‘Mainstream’: Gender Identity and Fraternity Men’s Discourse.” Women and Language, 20,1:13-17.