Gender and power theories specifically for A2- synoptic links


Specific concepts from AS that you can use in your A2 essays CLA/Language Change essays to make synoptic links.

Language and Power

Wareing (1999) says there are 3 types of power

  • Political- law

  • Personal- teachers/employers

  • Social group- class/gender/age

instrumental power- enforce authority
influential power- persuade others

Fairclough (2001)

power in discourse- power relations are set up linguistically

power behind discourse- organisations/important people

synthetic personalisation- tailoring adverts/texts to make it seem personal by using ‘you’

power asymmetry- difference in power status between the POWERFUL PARTICIPANT and the LESS POWER PARTICIPANT by putting CONSTRAINTS on them.

Coulthard and Sinclair- IRF 

Initiation- response- feedback model

FORMULATION: rewarding of another’s contribution by a powerful participant to impose certain meaning.

Levinson and Brown

Politeness theory- positive/negative face and face threatening acts (FTA)

Negative politeness “I’m really sorry but would you mind...”
Positive politeness “You’re always so generous,


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