Anthropology 149SL

Winter  2011

Tues-Thurs 9:30 - 10:45AM  HAINES A25


INSTRUCTOR:  Elinor Ochs

Office Hours:  Thursdays 12-2PM, Haines 318



Office Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday (or by appÕt), 1-2PM, Haines 360


Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday (or by appÕt), 12:30-1:30, Haines A10


Course Website:  The course website ( has up-to-date information about the course, including lecture notes, assignments, other course materials, service learning information, and guidelines for how to carry out research and write field notes.


Course Objectives:

Gender is rooted in biology and culture and impacts how one thinks, feels, and acts in the world.  This course examines how language practices contribute to the expression of gendered identities in different social groups and social situations.  Ideas about what it means to be male and female begin in infancy (if not before) and impact how children, youth, and adults are expected to communicate at these different life stages.  Through readings and field observations in a community service learning site, students in the course will consider the relation of gendered language practices and ideologies to the (trans)formation of stereotypes, normativity, privilege, power, cognition, morality, emotion, and politeness.


Service Learning Objectives

Students are required to complete 20 hours of service learning in a community service program under the auspices of the UCLA Center for Community Learning.  Service Learning allows students to learn through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities.  Coordinated through the UCLA Center for Community Learning, service learning enhances the academic curriculum of the students, fosters active civic responsibility, and provides structured time for students to reflect on the service experience. 


The community sites to be selected for the class will be relevant to the goals of the class topic of how gender identities are communicated in society and their consequences for the realization of human potential.  Once appropriate community sites have been identified, contact information, a description of the community partners, and expectations regarding meaningful participation in each site will be provided to students prior to entering the site.


Students will be introduced to the concept of service learning and community-campus partnerships before engaging in community service learning through presentations by and discussions with the UCLA Center for Community Learning Director and community partners from the particular community sites that students will serve throughout this class. The basic principles of good community-campus partnerships will be considered, including mission, values, and desired outcomes for the partnership.


Prerequisites:  Anthropology 33

Readings and Other Materials

         Required Texts:

          Talbot, M. (2010). Language and Gender. Cambridge, Polity Press.

          Articles for the course can be downloaded in PDF format from the course website


Readings should be completed before the lectures for which they are assigned. This is critical as the lectures will focus on discussion of readings.

Students are required to purchase a clicker device (the i>clicker). This clicker is for sale in the UCLA bookstore and will be used for quizzes, monitoring class participation, and for in-class discussions.

You are required to bring your i>clicker to every class.


How to Register Your Clicker

You must register your clicker ID number within the first week of class in order to get credit for quizzes and class participation.  To do this go to the class website ( In the lower left hand corner you will see a link to register the I>CLICKER. Simply click on the link and enter the code from the bottom of the back of your clicker. The i>clicker response system will be used in class, and you are responsible for bringing your remote daily.



Lecture and Section Participation            10%

Service Learning Participation/

Field Notes                                                      10%

Service Learning Presentation                   20%

Midterm Examination                                  30%

In-Class Quizzes (I>CLICKER)                       30%


Participation:  Lecture and section participation is extremely important.  Attendance will be registered through your I>CLICKER. During class lectures and sections, you are expected to discuss weekly reading assignments, report on your field observations, and discuss progress towards your collaborative research presentation.  If you are unable to be present at a class or section meeting, let your TA know in advance or bring a doctorÕs note when you return to class.


Service Learning Participation: Students are required to complete 20 hours of service learning in a community service program under the auspices of the UCLA Center for Community Learning.  You will sign up for a service learning site in the first week of class.


Service Learning Field Notes:  In addition to your service learning participation, you will be expected to post Òfield notesÓ on the course website right after each service learning field experience (within 24 hours).  The field notes will be no longer than 50 words and should include language and gender-related reflections on what happened at the site that day.  Individual postings will not be graded but postings will be credited towards your final grade.


Service Learning Presentation: You will be asked to collaboratively present in class 1 research project based on your service learning experience with three other students who are participating at the same field site.  This presentation will analyze language and gender in your field site, making connections between your field observations, your video/audio recordings at the site, the readings, and class discussions.  You will have 10 minutes total time to present your collaborative project in class. The presentation needs to be in a PowerPoint or Keynote format.  Scheduling of your presentation will be determined at a later time but will be in the final weeks of the course.


                  You have a choice of field presentation projects: 


                         Choice 1:  Together with your presentation collaborators, audio- or video-record social interaction that takes place in the community site (at                              least 10 continuous minutes). Using transcribed quotes from your recording, at least 2 course readings and other course materials to date,                                analyze how gender is communicated and its social significance.

Choice 2: Together with your collaborators, conduct and record a 20-minute life history interview with a participant in the community field site. Using transcribed quotes from the recorded interview, at least 2 course readings and other course materials to date, analyze how a personÕs life narrative may be influenced by gender and language ideologies and practices.


                       Guidelines for field project presentations will be distributed during section discussion and time           will be dedicated to helping you develop                             your projects.


In-Class Quizzes: At the beginning of most classes, you will be quizzed (using your i>clicker) on the reading assignments for that dayÕs class and the content of the previous class lecture.  Questions will be multiple choice.  At the end of the term your lowest two quiz grades will be dropped. 


Midterm Examination: There will be a midterm examination covering the readings, lectures, class discussions, and other course materials.  The exams will contain identifications and short answers.  There will be no make-up midterm examination. 


Emails:  If you have questions about your service learning site, contact Lisa Newon.  If you have questions about class business, contact Jenny Walton-Wetzel.  If you have substantive questions about course content, come to office hours of Jenny Walton-Wetzel or Elinor Ochs.  We will not address question about lectures and readings by email. 








January 4               Course and Service Learning Introduction



January 6               Cultural and Biological Structuring of Gender, Sex, and Language 1


Talbot: Chapter 1 "Language and Gender", pp. 3-17.

Kimura, D. (1992). Sex Differences in the Brain. Scientific American, vol 267, pp.118-125.



January 11              Cultural and Biological Structuring of Gender, Sex, and Language 2


Ortner, Sherry.  1974.  "Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?" In: Rosaldo and Lamphere, Eds. Woman, Culture, and Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 67-88.



January 13            Language and Gender:  The Two Cultures Model 1


Talbot: Chapter 3  "'Women's Language' and 'Man Made Language'", pp. 34-47.

Lakoff, Robin. 1973. Language and Woman's Place. Language in Society 2:45-80.



January 18            Language and Gender:  The Two Cultures Model 2


Tannen, Deborah. 1998. Talk in the intimate relationship: his and hers. In Language and Gender: A Reader. Jennifer Coates, ed. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Pp. 435-445.



January 20            Performing Gender through Language 1


Ochs, E. (1992). Indexing Gender. Rethinking Context. A. Duranti and C. Goodwin. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 335-358.



January 25            Performing Gender through Language 2


Hall, K. (1995). Lip Service on the Fantasy Lines. Gender Articulated: Language and the Socially Constructed Self. K. Hall and M. Bucholtz. New York, Routledge: 183-216.

Keisling, S. (2001). ""Now I Gotta Watch What I Say": Shifting Constructions of Masculinity in Discourse." Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 11(2): 250-273.



January 27            Gender-Bending and Language 1

Guest Speaker: Robin Conley


Conley, R. (2008). " "At the Time She Was a Man": The Temporal Dimension of Identity Construction." Political and Legal Anthropology Review 31(1): 28-47.

Crapanzano, Vincent. "Self"-Centering Narratives.  The Natural History of Discourse.  Silverstein, Michael and Urban, Greg, eds.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, Pp106-127.



February 1            Gender-Bending and Language 2

Guest Speaker: Muriel Vernon


Barrett, Rusty. 1999. Indexing Polyphonous Identity in the Speech of African American Drag Queens. In Reinventing Identities: The Gendered Self in Discourse. M. Bucholtz et al., eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Pp 313-331.



February 3            Gender, Language and Politeness 1


Talbot:  Chapter 5:  "Conversation", pp. 75-97.



February 8            Gender, Language and Politeness 2


Brown, P. (1998). How and why are women more polite: Some evidence from a Mayan community. In J. Coates (Ed.), Language and gender (pp. 81-99). Oxford: Blackwell

Okamoto, S. (1995). "Tasteless" Japanese:  Less "Feminine" Speech among Young Japanese Women. Gender Articulated:  Language and the Socially Constructed Self. K. Hall and M. Bucholtz.: 297-325.



February 10         MIDTERM EXAMINATION



February 15         Gender, Language and Power


Gal, Susan. 1995. Language, Gender, and Power: An anthropological review. In Hall, Kira & Mary Bucholtz. 1995. Gender Articulated: Language and the Socially Constructed Self. New York: Routledge. (GA), pp. 169-182

O'Barr, W. M. O. and B. K. Atkins (1998). "Women's Language" or "Powerless Language"? Language and Gender:  A Reader. J. Coates. Oxford, Basil Blackwell: 377-387.



February 17         Gender, Race, and Language


Morgan, M. M. (1999). No Woman, No Cry: Claiming African American Women's Place. Reinventing Identities: The Gendered Self in Discourse. M. Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and L. A. Sutton. Oxford University Press: 27-45.



February 22         Language, Gender and Assertiveness

Guest Speaker: Heather Loyd


Goodwin, Marjorie Harness. 1999. Constructing Opposition within Girls' Games. In Reinventing Identities: The Gendered Self in Discourse. M. Bucholtz et al., eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
Keenan (Ochs), Elinor.  1974.  Norm-makers, Norm-breakers: Uses of Speech by Men and Women in a Malagasy Community.  In Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking, Richard Bauman & Joel Sherzer (eds.).  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 125-143.



February 24         Gender and Media


Talbot, Chapter 8:  "Consumerism", pp. 137-158

Talbot, Chapter 12:  "Reclaiming the Language", pp. 224-242.

Goffman, Erving.  1976.  Gender Commercials: In Gender Advertisements.  New York: Harper, pp. 24-27; p. 28; pp. 40-56..  



March 1               Gender, Language, and Politics


Talbot, Chapter 10:  "Public Talk", pp. 184-202.

Lakoff, R. T. 2006. Language, Gender, and Politics:  Putting "Women" and "Power" in the Same Sentence. The Handbook of Language and Gender. J. Holmes and M. Meyerhoff. Malden, MA, Blackwell: 161-178.



March 3                 Gender, Language, and Youth Identity

                                    + Collaborative Field Project Presentations


Eckert, P. (2005). Language and Gender in Adolescence. The Handbook of Language and Gender. J. Holmes and M. Meyerhoff. Malden, MA, Blackwell: 381-400.

Bucholtz, Mary. 1999. "Why Be Normal?": Language and Identity Practices in a Community of Nerd Girls. Language in Society 28:203-223.



March 8                 Collaborative Field Project Presentations



March 10              Collaborative Field Project Presentations