Article published in:Gender, Language and the Periphery: Grammatical and social gender from the margins
Edited by Julie Abbou and Fabienne H. Baider
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 264] 2016
► pp. 323–352
Eastern boys and girls! Comparative linguistic anthropologies of lesbian and gay communities, Kuala Lumpur and Sorwool
Motivated by social inclusion, lesbian and gay communities have long attempted to negotiate languages and connected discourses. Social ascriptions act to oppress these communities, thus grounding Cameron’s (1985) Feminism and Linguistic theory. This practice of language negotiation significantly intensifies in regions where religious piety (Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam) interacts with rigid social structure (Confucianism, Interdependency), mediating social and cultural positioning. Consequently, members of LG communities build linguistic affordances, thus (re)positioning selves so to negotiate ascribed identities and marginalizations. Paradoxically, these communities model, or draw from, discourses and dynamics of those larger sociocultural networks with which intercommunal boundaries exist, so to contest or alleviate marginalizations, thus repositioning self and other in sociocultural interstices. Through a comparative framework, the current study employs ethnography, as well as conversation and discourse analyses, of LG communities, to explore ways in which these communities in Kuala Lumpur and Sorwool (Seoul) develop and employ adroit language practices to struggle within social spaces, and to contest positivist ascriptions.
Keywords: discourse, gay, Kuala Lumpur, lesbian, linguistic anthropology, Malaysia, Seoul, South Korea
Published online: 16 December 2016
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