The power of speech

In our main article this issue, Deborah Cameron looks at the impact that gender has on communication and language. The list of titles that have been published on this topic are legion — but their conclusions can, she argues, be too simplistic. Cameron, the author of such books as On Language And Sexual Politics (2006) and The Language and Sexuality Reader (with Don Kulick, 2006), debates the complexity and diversity of men’s and women’s language in the 21st century.

The gender agenda

This second article from Spring 2010 In Depth is one by Gill Ereaut, in which she uses Cameron’s piece as a springboard from which to invite qualitative researchers to reassess the value of gender. Is it, for example, something which people do rather than what they are? How many qualitative researchers look to manage gender-related dynamics — or allow for it in analysis — in a group or interview situation, she asks? By rethinking our attitudes to gender, she says, researchers will give themselves a choice about how to behave as moderators and a further resource in terms of analysis.