A Socio-pragmatic Account of the Relationship between Language and Power in Male-Female Language: Evidence from “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman”

Hosni M. El-daly


Based on the premise that language consists of two major dimensions: linguistic and socio-cultural, the present study discusses the way men and women are socialized into differing gender roles and shows how the linguistic usage of men and women reflects these differences. And, with this in mind, Miller’s Death of a Salesman is analyzed with a view to seeing whether Miller delineated his characters according to the stylistic variations in male-female interaction. The umbrella, under which the co-variation of language and gender is examined, is the relationship between language and power. The rationale, then, is that absence of serious attention to such a relationship is a major weakness of linguistic theory in the 21st century. It is hoped that the present study will be a modest contribution towards a clear understanding of the interrelationship between language, gender and power. The present study stresses the fact that gender differentiation in language does not exist in a vacuum, it interacts in a complex way with other kinds of social differentiation. Language and gender are inextricably linked. But the fact that gender is accomplished through talk is only now being addressed seriously by sociolinguists.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v1n1p62

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail: ijel@ccsenet.org

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