Sociolinguistic approaches to gender and leadership theory

Judith A Baxter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

This chapter reviews the range of theories that account for the crucial role of language in women’s performance of leadership, as well as the ways women are represented as leaders in the public domain. First, dominance theory proposes that the social nature of language constructs men as more powerful in professional domains and women as less so. Second, difference theory argues that women and men have differently gendered linguistic styles, with men tending to prefer more “transactional” or goal-orientated styles of language and women preferring “transformational” or “change-orientated” styles of language. Third, discourse theory proposes that leaders construct their professional identities through the language they choose to use. However this is not a free choice, especially for women leaders: gendered discourses such as masculinization or image and sexuality can effectively restrict the range of identities that women can “talk into being.” The chapter assesses how women leaders are simultaneously enabled and constrained by the language and discourses of leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Gender and Leadership
Place of PublicationMassachusetts
PublisherEdward Elgar
Pages113-126
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

sociolinguistics
leadership
gender
language
leader
discourse theory
discourse
sexuality
linguistics
performance

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Leadership
  • language and gender
  • sociolinguistic theory
  • discourses

Cite this

Baxter, J. A. (2017). Sociolinguistic approaches to gender and leadership theory. In Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership (pp. 113-126). [7] Massachusetts: Edward Elgar.
Baxter, Judith A. / Sociolinguistic approaches to gender and leadership theory. Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership. Massachusetts : Edward Elgar, 2017. pp. 113-126
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Baxter, JA 2017, Sociolinguistic approaches to gender and leadership theory. in Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership., 7, Edward Elgar, Massachusetts, pp. 113-126.

Sociolinguistic approaches to gender and leadership theory. / Baxter, Judith A.

Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership. Massachusetts : Edward Elgar, 2017. p. 113-126 7.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Baxter JA. Sociolinguistic approaches to gender and leadership theory. In Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar. 2017. p. 113-126. 7