Discourse Through the Looking Glass: Gender in the Language of Archaeological Journals

Abstract

This article addresses the extent to which the florescence of gender research in archaeology that arose during the 1980 and 1990s has changed archaeology. Is ‘gender’ everywhere or nowhere? The research presented in this paper assesses the extent to which concepts related to gender have become embedded within the research methods, themes and discussions of archaeological writing. This quantitative and qualitative study analysed 4487 articles within six key archaeology journals for gender-related words and their contexts. By closely examining the numbers, and patterns of usage of words, it was possible to quantify and assess the content of writing on gender as part of a large corpus of writing. The results show that while the notion of gender has permeated much of the archaeological literature, gender concepts have been adopted inconsistently and that gender is still a marginal concept in parts of the discipline. Consequently, the problems raised by gender archaeology during the 1980 and 1990s have not yet been resolved. There is more work to be done.

Résumé

Cet article permet d’entrevoir si la floraison des recherches sur le genre en archéologie, apparus durant les années 1980 et 1990, a changé l’archéologie. Le « genre » est-il partout ou nulle part ? Les recherches présentées dans cet article évaluent dans quelle mesure les concepts liés au genre se sont inscrits dans les méthodes de recherche, les thèmes et les débats sur les écrits archéologiques. Cette étude quantitative et qualitative a analysé 4 487 articles de six revues archéologie principales concernant les mots liés au genre et leurs contextes. En examinant de près les nombres et les modèles d’utilisation des mots, il a été possible de quantifier et d’évaluer le contenu des écrits sur le genre dans le cadre d’un vaste corpus d’écrits. Les résultats montrent que bien que la notion de genre ait imprégné grandement la littérature archéologique, les concepts de genre n’ont pas été adoptés de façon uniforme et le genre constitue toujours un concept marginal dans certains domaines de la discipline. Par conséquent, les problèmes soulevés par l’archéologie des genres pendant les années 1980 et 1990 n’ont pas encore été résolus. Il reste encore beaucoup à faire.

Resumen

El presente artículo aborda la medida en que el florecimiento de la investigación sobre el género en arqueología, que surgió durante los años 1980 y 1990, ha cambiado la arqueología. ¿Está el “género” en todas partes o en ninguna? La investigación presentada en este documento evalúa la medida en que los conceptos relacionados con el género han llegado a incrustarse en los métodos de investigación, los temas y los debates de los escritos arqueológicos. Este estudio cuantitativo y cualitativo analizó 4.487 artículos en seis revistas claves de arqueología en busca de palabras relacionadas con el género y sus contextos. Mediante el examen exhaustivo de los números, y los patrones de uso de las palabras, fue posible cuantificar y evaluar el contenido de los escritos sobre el género como parte de un gran corpus de escritos. Los resultados muestran que mientras que la noción de género ha impregnado una gran parte del material publicado sobre arqueología, los conceptos de género han sido adoptados de forma contradictoria y el género sigue siendo un concepto marginal en partes de la disciplina. Por consiguiente, los problemas planteados por la arqueología sobre el género durante los años 1980 y 1990 no han sido resueltos todavía. Queda mucho trabajo por hacer.

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Correspondence to Cherrie De Leiuen.

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De Leiuen, C. Discourse Through the Looking Glass: Gender in the Language of Archaeological Journals. Arch 11, 417–444 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11759-015-9284-9

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Key Words

  • Gender
  • Language
  • Discourse
  • Journals