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LANGUAGE OBSTACLES IN THE NARRATIVES OF ABUSED WOMEN
Lora Bex Lempert
Mid-American Review of Sociology
Vol. 19, No. 1/2 (WINTER, SPRING 1996), pp. 15-32
Published by: Social Thought and Research
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23252847
Page Count: 18
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Violence against women, Violence, Narratives, Language, Grammatical gender, Battered women, Men, Grammatical constructions, Linguistics, Marriage
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Language is a gendered system that reflects male experience and expressions and the categories used in traditional sociological inquiry are often incongruent with the experiences of women's lives (Devault 1990; Long 1987; Keller 1985; Smith 1979). An examination of 32 abused women's narratives of violence from their intimate partners demonstrates that words for the content of their experiences were readily accessible. Women's articulations of the interactional meanings of the violence, however, indicated vocabularies insufficient to describe the effects. I examine how abused women's reports of naming and use of language shape meaning and consequent actions. I argue that a gendered language system poses obstacles to the constructions and expressions of these meanings.
Mid-American Review of Sociology © 1996 Social Thought and Research