Women Are More Likely to Use Tentative Language, I Think: A Literary and Statistical Analysis of Ulysses by James Joyce and Debate Speech
Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Linguistics, Gender, Cultural Economics, Bias, Literature, Econometrics
Language and its utilization can provide valuable information about individuals and their cultural norms. Negotiation is a major factor of the gender wage gap, perpetuated by gender bias. This paper seeks to discover—does language influence gendered cultural norms? Or reflect it? This thesis is divided into eight sections that engage the relationship between gender and language in literature and debate speech. Through critical literary and statistical analysis of the “Penelope” and “Proteus” chapters of Ulysses by James Joyce, it is evident that the female chapter’s invalidation found in literary criticism is from the reception of her speech, and not the language itself. This paper further statistically explores gender and language through a more tangible lens—presidential debate speech. The results find that female candidates, like Joyce’s female persona, are subject to more negative reception, despite a small magnitude of significant difference across the linguistic characteristics of the designated male and female speech. The results point towards the importance of a social culture free from gender biases that can strain the labor market and society.
Blumenfeld, Cozette; Bracken, Claire; and Dvorak, Tomas, "Women Are More Likely to Use Tentative Language, I Think: A Literary and Statistical Analysis of Ulysses by James Joyce and Debate Speech" (2022). Honors Theses. 2556.
Economics Commons, Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication Commons, Linguistics Commons