Language and Gender Construction: Stereotypes and Identity Reconstruction in A Doll’s House: A Sociolinguistic Perspective

Mahin Wahla, Mamona Mamona, Dr. Ameer Ali Buriro


The inter-reliant relationship of language and gender has remained quite a debatable topic in sociolinguistics because of its controversial nature. The present paper aimed at exposing constructive and deconstructive roles language can play in the process of gender construction against and in favour, respectively, of societal and cultural norms. While drawing insights from Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (1997, 1998) and Spender’s Dominance Model (1990, 1997), the study shows how certain stereotypes about men and women are perpetuated through language of literary text in the play, A Doll’s House (1879) by the father of modern theatre, namely Ibsen (1828-1906). Followed by explanation of these issues, the study has determined whether the text of the respective only tends to create stereotypes or it can be a powerful tool for breaking those stereotypes and reconstructing identity.

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The Women - Annual Research Journal of Gender Studies is published annually by the Institute of Gender Studies, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan.