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Gender, generations, and nations: An experiment in Hmong American discourse and sociophonetics

TitleGender, generations, and nations: An experiment in Hmong American discourse and sociophonetics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsStanford, JN
JournalLanguage & CommunicationLanguage & Communication
Volume30
Pagination285-296
Date PublishedOct
ISBN Number0271-5309
Accession NumberPeer Reviewed Journal: 2010-18154-007
Keywords*Communities, *Discourse Analysis, *Human Sex Differences, *Language, *Phonetics, Acoustics, Age Differences, Countries, Cross Cultural Differences, gender differences, generations, nations, Hmong American discourse, sociophonetics, communities, age differences, acoustic distinction, speech style, cultural tension, Generational Differences, Human Male Female Adulthood (18 yrs & older) Young Adulthood (18-29 yrs) Thirties (30-39 yrs) Middle Age (40-64 yrs) Aged (65 yrs & older), Linguistics & Language & Speech [2720], Social Processes & Social Issues [2900], Speech Characteristics, us
AbstractThis study of Hmong discourse provides new perspectives on language, gender, and age by researching an underrepresented community. The experiment tested how 33 Hmong people in St. Paul, Minnesota would respond to the same young female Hmong interviewer. The recordings show that older men often style-shifted into an acoustically distinctive "authoritative voice," whereas women and younger men did not use this speech style. For Hmong Americans, then, "doing gender" also involves "doing generations." In moment-by-moment discourse choices, older men use the "authoritative voice" to construct social hierarchy and traditions, admonish youth, and practice other aspects of Hmong American nationhood. In feminist terms of gender and nation, young Hmong American women are a locus of cultural tension: conservative "cultural reproducers/border guards" but also progressive agents of change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).
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