Language and Gender in the Military: Honorifics, Narrative, and Ideology in Air Force Talk

by Edith A. Disler

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures


Chapter 1: Gatekeepers and Gender Categories: Gender and Military Life

The American Military as a Context for Linguistic Study

Chapter 2: Linguistic Background and Study Method

Language, Gender, and Power

Problem and Method

The Informants

Chapter 3: Gender and Language Intersect: Military Use of “Ma’am” and “Sir”

From Clean Slate to a Matter of Style: Using “Ma’am” and “Sir” Language Socialization

“Ma’am” and “Sir”—Denotation and Connotation

Honorifics and Politeness

Identifying Environments for “Ma’am” and “Sir”


Chapter 4: Narrative and Gendering of Institutional Identity

The Study of Narrative

Four Categories of Narrative


Chapter 5: Ideology in Language Reflects Ideology in Institutions

Language and Ideology

Pervasive Backdrop: Job Exclusions

Parent-Child Dynamics in Hierarchical Ideology

Ideology in Practice—Nurturing the Forces

Gender as Style and Gender as Cover-up

Chapter 6: Results and Conclusions





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