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 Sexism Phenomenon in English Language

As a kind of social phenomenon, language reflects all the sides of human society naturally. Sexism is a kind of discrimination by one sex against the other, especially by males against females. As reflected in language, this biased condition of sexes concerns the portrayal of men as the norm and women as the appendage or as the exception, which is often called linguistic sexism or androcentrism──one of the main concerns for sociolinguistics and a major subject of feminist linguists in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
This thesis first elaborates sexism from different angles, such as from morphology, syntax and semantics, English expressions, English proverbs and slang. This thesis not only focuses on the origins of sexism, but also finally proposes some ways to avoid sexist languages, such as employment of neutral language, avoiding using the traditional form of address and other ways to avoid generic masculine. English language has for a long time featured a considerable amount of sexism, a manifestation that has deep roots—social, historical and cultural. To get rid of it depends basically on the eradication of sexist concepts among the general public and further improvement of women’s social status, rather than on the linguistic means. After all, social reform is the basis for the realization of linguistic revolutions.

Key Words: sexism; English; method; masculine; neutral word

摘  要




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