Gender Matters - Sara Mills

Gender Matters - Sara Mills

10. Gender and impoliteness

Gender Matters - Sara Mills

Sara Mills [+-]
Sheffield Hallam University
Sara Mills is a Research Professor in Linguistics at Sheffield Hallam University. Her most recent publications include Gender and Colonial Space (2005, Manchester University Press), Michel Foucault (Critical Thinkers Series, 2003, Routledge), Feminist Post-Colonial Theory: An Anthology (edited with Reina Lewis, 2003, Edinburgh University Press) and Gender and Politeness (2003, Cambridge University Press).


This essay analyses the complex relationship between gender and impoliteness. Rather than assuming that gender and impoliteness are concrete entities which can be traced in conversation, I argue that gender and impoliteness are elements which are worked out within the course of interaction. Despite the fact that much current research seems to focus on women’s interactional competitiveness (which challenges the notion that women are, on the whole, ‘nicer’ than men in interaction), I argue that women’s assertiveness is often judged to be impolite.

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Mills, Sara. 10. Gender and impoliteness. Gender Matters. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 200 - 213 Feb 2012. ISBN 9781845534967. Date accessed: 08 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19773. Feb 2012

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