chapter  6
20 Pages

Gender and Language Variation in Written Communication

Before turning to a discussion of politeness strategies in written discourse, we offer a brief note on terminology. The distinction between the terms gender and sex has been noted recently (Deaux & Major, 1990; Poynton, 1985; Roen & Johnson, 1992; Schor, 1992). However, Rhode (990) reminded us of the interdependence of social and biological factors. In a fashion similar to West and Zimmerman (991), Scott (988) explained that gender is "a social category imposed on a sexed body" (p. 32).