Culture and language. A mutual relationship

Autor:Nadya Tolaba - Agustina Giacinti
Cargo:Profesoras de Lengua Inglesa

Las Profesoras Nadya Tolaba y Agustina Giacinti pertenecen a la cohorte 2010 del INSTITUTO DE FORMACION DOCENTE CONTINUA y reciben su grado de Profesor de Lengua Inglesa en Noviembre de 2013, en dicha Institución de Formación Superior. Actualmente las mismas son docentes en diversos Institutos de Inglés y han realizado prácticas como profesoras de nivel primario y secundario en diversas instituciones educativas de la ciudad de San Luis, Argentina.

I.F.D.C. San Luis. (Instituto de Formación Docente Contínua San Luis)

It is popularly known that the culture in which we are immersed conditions and frames our perceptions about the world and the way we interpret the language.

The essay written by Miller and Swift (1) reflects upon the implication of sexism over the language and, consequently, the receivers. The authors state that there is a “semantic mechanism that operates to keep women invisible” (p. 377) and, at the same time, they present a great variety of examples related to social, political and religious aspects that keep on perpetuating this cultural behavior.

In our opinion, people’s attitude and language are inherent to one another. This relationship clearly shows the role that society plays in our everyday language and how it determines the way we behave and think as cultural group and vice versa. Currently, it is possible to listen to sexist language being used in almost every aspect of our life. For instance, the word housewife is used to refer to married women who do the housework. Fortunately, we have found that there is an equivalent for a man who does the housework: househusband. But if we think of the usage of the term it hasn’t been so globally spread due to the fact that this situation is not culturally intrinsic to society members. Even the definition provided by the dictionary has a sexist connotation. It goes like this: “A househusband is a married man who chooses to stay at home instead of working at a career”. The question is: why do we tend to ascribe sexists meanings to certain words? If we think of the meaning of choose in the definition of househusband, why men have the right to choose and women simply have the cultural obligation to stay? This feature of the language dates from the beginning of our existence. Even the authors make reference to Eve’s creation. As the historical / religious event took place in a patriarchal society, it is understandable that the worldwide known event explains that the woman was...

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