Section the first 4 2 some intro stuff
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Section the first (4/2) Some intro stuff. Questions? Tyler Schnoebelen tylers at stanford dot edu. Agenda. Howdy’s and how aaaaare you’s Your thoughts and questions Some key terms in E&Mc-G Some metaphors, too Generic he (Gaskill 1990) Consumerism (Talbot 1992).

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Section the first (4/2) Some intro stuff

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Section the first (4/2) Some intro stuff


Tyler Schnoebelen

tylers at stanford dot edu


  • Howdy’s and how aaaaare you’s

  • Your thoughts and questions

  • Some key terms in E&Mc-G

    • Some metaphors, too

  • Generic he (Gaskill 1990)

  • Consumerism (Talbot 1992)

Detour: setting goals

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Actionable

  • Realistic

  • Time-bound

Some basic things to get

  • Competence

  • Speech community

  • Community of practice

  • Lexicon

  • Subdisciplines in linguistics

    • Phonology

    • Morphology

    • Syntax

    • Discourse

    • Semantics

    • Pragmatics

Lots of movement

  • Social moves

    • Every contribution you make to an interaction carries out your intentions with respect to the others. We have goals.

  • “Discourse turn”

    • Language is interactive, dynamic

    • It changes over time (and over the course of a conversation)

  • “Performance turn”

    • Categories are socially constructed

    • You “do” gender”

    • “Continually produced, reproduced, and indeed changed through people’s performance of gendered acts, ast they project their own claimed gendered identities, ratify or challenge others’ identities, and in various ways support or challenge systems of gender relations and privilege” (E&Mc-G: 4).


  • How does the linguistic market metaphor work?

Gaskill (1990)

Twitter break

  • “After a patient eats, he needs to rest.”

  • “A person is only as old as he feels.”


  • Why do we care?

Talbot (1992)

Talbot’s goals

  • “A linguistic model of discourse

  • that integrates linguistic and social theoretical perspectives

  • so that discourse can be analyzed both as

    • interaction between individuals

    • and as socially reproductive and constitutive of subjectivity”


  • The author is dead

    • Or rather, the author is legion

    • Multiple

    • Fragmented

Ideal subject

  • Sort of like the representation we saw in generic he

  • Mass-media producers get to imagine the addressee

  • They control “commonsense”

  • Conclusion:

    • “The audience is being offered sisterhood in consumption. Synthetic personalization and the need for adult femininity catch readers up in a bogus community in which the subject position of consumer is presented as an integral part of being feminine” (Talbot 1992: 579)

  • Cosmetics and naturalness



  • My use of language tells you something about me

  • I can also use language consciously to try to tell you something about me

  • We’ll look more at “style” later on in the course, but keep in mind that we’ve got to account for conscious and unconscious attitudes/behaviors

It adds up

  • To build a model of what’s happening in this course, consider:

    • Small verbal acts accumulate to have a large effect

  • So how do individual situations produce and reproduce abstract social structures?

    • More on this as the course continues

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