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ACADEMIC WRITING IN SOCIAL SCIENCES FROM A GENDER PERSPECTIVE: A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT APPLIED IN TWO SPANISH UNIVERSITIES AND ITS PRELIMINARY RESULTS

D. Vlachopoulos, M.D. Bernabeu, M. Tomàs

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (SPAIN)
During the last decades, in all fields of science, increasing attention has been given to sex differences as an important variable. According to recent researches, a discourse approach to gender and language aims to accommodate ideas of individual agency, and of gender (identity) as multiple, fluctuating, and shaped in part by language. This understanding crucially represents gender as variable, but, equally crucially, as both social and individual. In this context, the aim of this paper is to present a discourse analysis data collection instrument, which was used to analyze the academic work of six women- full professors in social sciences, who also coordinate recognized research groups at the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. This instrument was used to analyze eighteen research papers and it was divided in four general parts: linguistic dimension, use of sexist language, psychological processes and cognitive processes. The preliminary results of this application show that even though academic writing is determined by the scientific journals’ guidelines for publication and the different disciplines of social sciences, there are some important elements that are linked to the gender variable. This study opens a new window for interpreting this issue, even though this area needs further research.