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Title: Identity and role construction : a sociolinguistic study of gender and discourse in management
Author: Mullany, Louise Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 7912
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis examines the complex interplay between gender and discourse at a managerial level in the workplace by analysing data taken from two ethnographic case studies of businesses based in Nottingham, UK. Theoretical and methodological influence is taken from a variety of disciplines, resulting in the development of a multidisciplinary approach tenned 'critical feminist sociolinguistics'. This study aims to cover new ground by producing a detailed analysis of gender and discourse at both a micro and macro level. A dual definition of discourse is adopted, and in conjunction with producing a detailed linguistic discourse analysis of participants' speech strategies in the specific context of meeting interaction, a broader analysis of gender discourses that operate both within and on the workplace is conducted. Interview data with managers are analysed in order to achieve this analysis of discourses in a wider sense. The linguistic practices that are examined within managerial meeting interaction include the under-investigated practices of humour and small talk, along with an examination of talking time and how managers enact authority through the performance of speech acts. The data analysis clearly refutes the findings of earlier language and gender studies which reported distinct differences between female and male speech styles. In both case studies, there are similarities between the speech strategies female and male managers use. The professional status and role of participants within the institutional setting, in conjunction with a number of other situated, contextual factors, appear to be more salient influences than gender on a number of occasions. However, there is some evidence of gender patterning in relation to small talk, particularly in female-chaired, female-dominated departmental meetings. Certain female managers also appear to take advantage of the multifrmctionality of huiuour more than their male counterparts. In contrast to the findings of the linguistic discourse analysis, distinct gender differences are discovered when examining the wider discourses of gender in both workplaces. The interview data reveal that dominant gender discourses are still placing women in managerial positions at a disadvantage, and this evidence provides a number of reasons as to why the 'glass ceiling', the barrier to female career progression, is still finuly in place. The implications of the findings of this study reach far beyond the discipline of linguistics, and thus the case for a move towards interdisciplinary research is firmly made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Speech acts