Gender identity and critical discourse analysis: a rhetorical study in Taiwanese female collegian athletes  Cover Image
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Gender identity and critical discourse analysis: a rhetorical study in Taiwanese female collegian athletes
Gender identity and critical discourse analysis: a rhetorical study in Taiwanese female collegian athletes

Author(s): Catherine Yi-Chien Chen
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Editura Fundaţia Andrei Saguna
Keywords: female athletes; gender identity; androgyny; critical discourse analysis

Summary/Abstract: This study aims to explore the Taiwanese female collegian athletes‟ gender discourse in the description of their gender identities. Sport, the field stresses strong physical characteristics traditionally belong to men, has been long considered the powerful sites in cultural context of masculine hegemony. Female athletes are required to build physical masculine characteristics in order to compete. How prominent masculine appearances reflect on the (re)interpretation of their gender identities off courts may be problematically presented through gendered discourse. Semi constructed in-depth interviews from 45 minutes to an hour, application of critical discourse analysis (CDA) were conducted with 25 Taiwanese female collegian athletes. Masculine descriptors such as „manly‟, and androgynous descriptor such as „middle-sexed‟ („Zhong(middle)-xin-hua (sexed)‟—the peculiar linguistic adjective that still has slight difference from androgynous) were manifested in these female athletes‟ discourse. Preliminary findings indicated that the interviewees identified their homosexuality when „middle-sexed‟ was applied. Also, these „middle-sexed‟ female athletes experienced difficulties in confronting their sexualities in family communication. The implication of using „middle-sexed‟ to describe one‟s gender identity can be treated as refusal of gender binary and paradox. The force in family value of collectivism coerces the athletes‟ construction of their gender identities.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 21-46
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: English