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Publication details [#68002]

Diabah, Grace. 2020. Projecting masculinities or breaking sociolinguistic norms?: The role of women's representation in students' profane language use. Gender and Language 14 (1) : 99–120.
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Article in journal
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This paper explores how students from University of Ghana’s Commonwealth Hall (the only all-male hall of residence) project diverse masculine identities through how they represent women in their use of profanity and other uncouth linguistic forms. Data were collected from recorded profane songs, observations from various case studies of the use of insults and profane expressions and interviews with users of these expressions. The data generally present a picture of sexual and verbal abuse as ‘ideal’ ways of showing male dominance and power over women. These abuses are valued by the students, even though they are not expected practices in Ghanaian society. The paper concludes that although some students claim they use this language ‘just for fun’, disguising it as harmless only makes it easy to explore obsessions without a sense of guilt. If not properly checked, such obsessions may find expression in how women are treated.