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Language, gender, and sexual orientation: Gender-specific features of discursive styles of homosexual users of an internet forum

Author(s): Stanković Biljana

Journal: Sociologija
ISSN 0038-0318

Volume: 55;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 115;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: discursive style | CMC | gender identity | sexual orientation

This study seeks to determine whether and in which way homosexual people rely on gender-specific style characteristics when communicating in the internet environment. It is assumed that the basis of differences in language practices is not some identity category (either gender or sexual), that uses these practices only as a means of expression. Instead, language is seen as a resource that allows us to respond to a variety of communication situations. The methodological framework for collecting and analyzing the samples of verbal interaction is content analysis (relative frequencies of linguistic parameters are first calculated and then compared by using statistical techniques), and the results are then supplemented with a qualitative analysis of communication flow which further examines the mediating effect of conversational context in the selection of gender-related discursive features. The findings suggest that homosexual men and women differ when it comes to the expression of gender-specific discursive style. In conclusion, I argue in favor of the interpretation of these differences with respect to the specificity of the communication context and existence of certain norms that model the interaction among the participants in the discussion.
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