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Title: Saudi perceptions of linguistic representations for women in use of Arabic language
Author: Damanhouri, Miramar Yousif
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2013
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The influence of the feminist movement on language and gender studies has been considerable over the past several decades across many languages. Such studies have sometimes identified linguistic sexism in these languages. Language professionals have shown the relation between language and the position of women in society by examining representations of the sexes in language systems and language use. These studies have contributed to language planning and language reform across many languages. The study examines the complex relationship between linguistic representations of women and their social position in Saudi society. The results suggest the existence of linguistic sexism in the use of Arabic due to the constant absence, or marginalization, of women in many aspects of language. These are explored in this study as linguistic representations tend to symbolize men as the norm for human behaviour leading to women's marginalization in language and in society as well. For example, the generic use of masculine forms fails to convey the social recognition and inclusion of women, in theory and in practice, and sometimes leads to lexical gaps and cognitive confusion, for readers and or listeners of Arabic, where there is reference to gender. The results from this study also suggest the existence of an inter-relationship between language and the social reality of Saudi women in Saudi society. Accordingly, some recommendations regarding language reform have been suggested based on participants' views collected from the fieldwork data. In addition, and very importantly, the study shows that women's marginalization is a product of social norms rather than religious or legal norms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available