Cross-situational Consistency of Female Politicians’ Language Use

Cover Page

Cite item

Abstract

This article seeks to study political discourses of American female politicians, specifically Madeleine Albright, the first female United States Secretary of State in the history of the United States of America, from 1997 to 2001, Condoleezza Rice, the 66th United States Secretary of State, and Hillary Clinton, the 67th United States Secretary of State. Different in age, ethnicity, political views, educational and social backgrounds, they reveal that in order to succeed in the political arena, women are bound to hide their female personality. Examples in question are Madeline Albright and Condoleezza Rice, recurrent users of such male discursive features as rhetorical questions, logical order of arguments, conceptual metaphors of war, sports, and hunting. Gender-marked female discourse is characterized by hesitation, use of standard speech, cognitive, social words, and hedges. Research shows that Hilary Clinton is a typical example of the female-marked political discourse. This has enabled her to pursue, among others, a feminist agenda, which has proved an efficient communicative tactic. Drawing on the socialization specifics of Albright, Rice, and Clinton, the paper explains why Albright and Rice tend to have a male-marked discourse and Clinton a female-marked discourse, as the first female Secretary of State, Albright simply had no female role models, with only male predecessors before her. She seeks to make her speech as neutral as possible, just at times exploiting female discursive patterns. Condoleezza Rice, Albright’s successor, uses characteristically male discourse the most. It can be attributable to the fact that she belongs to two ‘minority’ groups: women and African Americans. Sounding femalish might have weakened her chances to stay the strong Secretary of State that the geopolitical situation would demand. It is noteworthy that female politicians can, or have to, switch between male-marked and female-marked discourses in order to achieve certain goals and preserve their current status.

About the authors

Denis S. Mukhortov

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: dennismoukhortov@mail.ru

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of the Department of English Linguistics, Faculty of Philology

Leninskie Gory, 1, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991

Yana S. Malyavina

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Email: yana_m3@mail.ru

Department of English Linguistics, Faculty of Philology

Leninskie Gory, 1, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991

References

  1. Butsyk, E.D. (2015). Construction of gender identity in political discourse, The MGIMO Review of International Relations, 3 (42), 167-172. (In Russ.).
  2. Božić, Dragana (2016). Gender differences in the political speeches from the 113th united states congress. Faculty of humanities and social sciences, Osijek.
  3. Pennebaker, J. (2011). The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say about Us. Bloomsbury Press.
  4. Lakoff, R. (1973). Language and woman's place, Language in Society, 2 (1), 45-79.
  5. Fracchiolla, B. (2011). Politeness as a strategy of attack in a gendered political debate - The Royal - Sarkozy debate. Journal of Pragmatics, 43 (10), 2480-2488.
  6. Holmes, J. (1995). Women, men and politeness. Language and Literature, 7 (3), London, Longman. (In Eng.).
  7. Nurseitova, Kh., Zharkynbekova, Sh., Bokayev, B., Bokayeva, A. (2013). Language and Gender in Political Discourse (Mass Media Interviews). Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 70, 417-422.
  8. Semino, E. & Koller, V. (2009). Metaphor, politics and gender: a case study from Italy In K. Ahrens (Ed.), Politics, Gender and Conceptual Metaphors. pp. 36-61.
  9. Issers, O.S. (1998). Language and Gender in Political Discourse (Mass Media Interviews). Omsk. (In Russ.).
  10. Charteris-Black, J. (2009). Metaphor and Political Communication. Metaphor and Discourse, 97-115.
  11. Totibadze, S. (2017). Most Frequently Used Gendered Metaphors in British Political Discourse. Leiden University.
  12. Friedmann, J. (1987). Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action. Princeton University Press.
  13. Flannery, M.C. (2001). Quilting: A Feminist Metaphor for Scientific Inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 7(5), 628-645.
  14. Hofstede, G. (1991). Cultures and Organizations Software of the Mind. London McGraw-Hill.
  15. Potapov, P. (1997). Language of men and women: phonetic differentiation. AN RAN, 52-62. (In Russ.)
  16. Arustamyan, R., Makurina, M. A, Pirozhkova, I. S. (2016). The manifestation of gender peculiarities in political discourse. Ekaterinburg, Politicheskya lingvistika, 244-249. (In Russ.).
  17. Polyakova, L.S. (2011). Gender strategies as a factor of realization of a politician's language. Cultural linguistics, 5 (In Russ.).
  18. Danilova, M.B. (2009). Frame «background» in the scenario «autobiography of a woman politician». Yekaterinburg, Political Linguistics, 72-75. (In Russ.).
  19. Vagenlyaytner, N.V. (2011). Language image of the woman-politician in aspect of the description of appearance (according to printing mass-media). Yekaterinburg, Political Linguistics, 3, 180-183. (In Russ.).
  20. Kendall, S., Tannen, D. (2001). Discouse and gender. The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Oxford, Blackwell, 46-63.
  21. Wodak, R. (1997). Critical Discourse Analysis. In T. van Dijk (Ed.), Discourse Studies A Multidisciplinary Introduction, 2, 258-284.
  22. Brouner, D. (1982). The influence of the addressee’s sex on politeness in language use. Linguistics, 20, 1982, 697-711.
  23. McConnell-Ginet, S. (2012). Linguistics and Gender Studies. Philosophy of Linguistics.
  24. Ferrary, F. (2010). Gender and Identification in political Discourse: The (American) Woman as and beyond a Category for Analysis. Ekaterinburg, Politicheskaya lingvistika, 1, 39-54. (In Russ.).
  25. Goroshko, E. (1999). Sex, gender, language. 98-112. (In Russ.).
  26. Goroshko, E. (1994). Issues of studying peculiarities of male and female linguistic style. Dnepropetrovsk, 160-169. (In Russ.).
  27. Kolesnikova, M. (2000). Lexicographical aspect of current gender studies. MGLU Rudomino, 28-35. (In Russ.).
  28. Kunitsyna, E.V. (2011). Gender specificity of political discourse: language and speech aspects (based on the election speeches of H. Clinton and B. Obama). Siberian Journal of Life Sciences and Agriculture, 7(19), 103-112. (In Russ.).
  29. Johnson, F.L. (1983). Political and pedagogical implications of attitudes towards women’s language. Communication Quarterly, 31, 133-138.
  30. Edwards, J. (2009). Language and identity. An Introduction. St Francis Xavier University.
  31. Christie, Ch. (2000). Gender and Language: Towards a Feminist Pragmatics. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. 216.
  32. Cuellar, S. (2006). Women’s language: a struggle to overcome inequality. Columbian University, 137-162.
  33. Ross, K. (2017). Gender. Politics, News: A Game of Three Sides. Wiley-Blackwell.
  34. Mukhortov, D., Malyavina, Ya. (2019). Communication Styles of Female Politicians: Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon. Moscow University Philology Bulletin, 36-53.
  35. Mukhortov, D.S. (2015). The Metaphor in Foreign Policy Discourse as a Manifestation of the Commonality of the Ideological Attitudes of Anglo-Saxon Politicians (Based on the Speeches of B. Obama, D. Cameron, T. Abbott and S. Harper in 2014-2015). Political Linguistics: Problematics, Methodology, Aspects of Research and Prospects of Development of Scientific Direction [International Science Conference (Ekaterinburg)], 175-182.
  36. Clinton’s Farewell Remarks to State Department Employees (2013). URL: https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2013/02/203684.htm. (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  37. Clinton’s Remarks to the Inauguration of the 2012 National Work-Life and Family Month Event, 2012. URL: https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2012/10/199724.htm. (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  38. Condoleezza Rice’s Remarks at the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign’s 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner (2005). URL: https://2001-2009.state.gov/secretary/rm/2005/56689.htm (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  39. Condoleezza Rice’s remarks On International Women’s Day (2007) URL: http://gos.sbc.edu/ r/rice4.html. (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  40. Hillary Clinton at Women’s Empowerment Event 03.11.2010. URL: https://2009-2017.state.gov/ secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2010/11/150343.htm (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  41. Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Launch Speech (2015). URL: http://time.com/3920332/transcript% 13full%13text%13hillary%13clinton%13campaign%13launch/ (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  42. Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the human rights agenda for the 21st century (2009). URL: http://gos.sbc.edu/c/clinton3.html (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  43. Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday victory speech (2016). URL: https://www.vox.com/2016/ 3/1/11144350/hillary-clinton-super-tuesday-transcript (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  44. Madeleine Albright on Building a Bipartisan Foreign Policy (1997). URL: https://1997-2001.state.gov/statements/970207.html (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  45. Madeleine K. Albright’s Farewell Remarks at U.S. Department of State (2001). URL: https://1997-2001.state.gov/statements/2001/010119.html (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  46. Madeleine K. Albright’s Interview on NBC-TV “The Today Show” (1998). URL: https://1997-2001.state.gov/statements/1998/980219a.html (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  47. Madeleine K. Albright’s Statement at the Opening Plenary of the Multilateral Steering Group (Middle East Peace) (2000). URL: https://1997-2001.state.gov/statements/2000/000201.html (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  48. Madeleine K. Albright’s Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (1999). URL: https://1997-2001.state.gov/statements/ 1999/991007a.html (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  49. Madeleine K. Albright’s Statement to the North Atlantic Council (1998). URL: https://1997-2001.state.gov/statements/1998/981208.html (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  50. Nicola Sturgeon about Scotland’s commitment to Europe. URL: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=QRrPZDuvy (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  51. Nicola Sturgeon at EU Referendum Result Press Conference at Bute House (2016). URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-kKMt-pvEE (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  52. Nicola Sturgeon’s full speech at SNP conference 12.10.2017. URL: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=u5su2ArPHY0 (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  53. Nicola Sturgeon’s post-Brexit speech to the IPPR, July 25th, 2016. URL: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=iMbf0JQn4gA (accessed: 06/09/2019).
  54. Nicola Sturgeon’s speech on International Women’s Day 2017. URL: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uMKjXaJW1Jw. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  55. Nicola Sturgeon’s speech on Scotland’s referendum, March 13th, 2017. URL: mode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReYB_ysgN_Y (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  56. Nicola Sturgeon’s speech to the SNP conference, October 10th, 2017. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxHGulVdFbE (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  57. Rice’s Farewell Remarks to the State Department Press Corps, 2009. URL: https://2001-2009.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009/01/115017.htm. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  58. Rice’s remarks at Georgetown School of Foreign Service, 2006. URL: http://gos.sbc.edu/ r/rice3.html. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  59. Rice’s Remarks at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, 2006. URL: http://gos.sbc.edu/r/rice2.html. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  60. Rice’s Remarks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, 2007. URL: https://2001-2009.state.gov/secretary/rm/2007/12/97735.htm. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  61. Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Women, Peace, and Security, 2011. URL: https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2011/12/179173.htm. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  62. Secretary Rice Addresses U.S.-Russia Relations At The German Marshall Fund, 2008. URL: https://2001-2009.state.gov/secretary/rm/2008/09/109954.htm. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  63. Theresa May on 100 anniversary of women’s suffrage. URL: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=xNT3we--luY. (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  64. Theresa May’s Brexit speech, January 17th, 2017. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= o0rRnTFJszU (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  65. Theresa May’s first statement as Prime Minister, July 13th, 2016. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDyZ8trge2E (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  66. Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, October 6th, 2015. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoiuCPxHk1E, (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).
  67. Theresa May’s Tory leadership launch statement, June 30th, 2016. URL: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=RRHjfl kTRzE (accessed: 06/09/2019). (In Eng.).

Copyright (c) 2019 Mukhortov D.S., Malyavina Y.S.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies