Foreword (InDepth Issue 12)
This issue of InDepth consists of two articles, from Deborah Cameron, the Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford, and the other from Gill Ereaut, who is a specialist in discourse analysis, a researcher with more than twenty years experience of qualitative research, and a former managing editor of InDepth.
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 mens and womens 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 Camerons 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.
This article was first published in InDepth magazine, March 2010
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2010