Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"What Do You Mean When You Say...": Gender-Linked Language and Courtroom Testimony
by Hublar, Anne Elizabeth, M.A., Indiana University, 2015, 65; 1602449
Abstract (Summary)

Gender-linked language penalizes women by both systematically devaluing women’s speech and limiting its form and content. In 1975, Robin Lakoff claimed that gender-linked language was a key diagnostic for gender equality within society. Forty years later, this interdisciplinary analysis brings together feminist, legal justice, sociological, and linguistic perspectives to examine the courtroom testimony of female domestic violence victims for compliance with gender-linked language norms and subsequent success in obtaining protective orders. Testimony was evaluated for compliance with Mulac’s Gender-Linked Language Effect (GLLE) as well as additional variables uncovered through research and experience. Results showed that all petitioners used female-linked variables at a consistent rate but that those who used more male-linked variables received fewer protective orders. The results of this analysis will serve to inform judges and legal professionals in their evaluation of women’s narratives without bias, fill a gap in research on the effects gender-linked language in courtroom testimony, and uncover the presence of the GLLE in everyday life. Most importantly, this analysis provides a rationale for eliminating gender-linked language as an extralegal barrier to protection helping to ensure that all citizens receive equal protection from the Court regardless of gender.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hare, Sara
Commitee: Kauffman, James, Ryan, Kelly, Walsh, Sara
School: Indiana University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: MAI 55/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Law, Sociology, Gender studies
Keywords: Courtroom testimony, Domestic violence, Female narratives, Gender linked language effect
Publication Number: 1602449
ISBN: 9781339167718
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