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Gender Differences in Congressional Speeches


Title: Gender Differences in Congressional Speeches
Subject Classification: Politics and Government, Gender Studies, Equality Diversity Inclusion
BIC Classification: JP, JFSJ, CF
BISAC Classification: SOC032000, POL040000, POL000000
Binding: Hardback, Paperback, ebook, pp.292
Publication date: 18th August 2023
ISBN (Hardback): 978-1-80441-088-2
ISBN (Paperback): 978-1-80441-418-7
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-80441-089-9

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This book studies gender differences in language used in the 113th United States Congress (January 2013-January 2015). The corpus was composed of all uninterrupted speeches of 100 words or more, which amounted to 672 speeches by the female and 2,983 by the male politicians. The speeches were analysed to determine language categories used by the politicians, including word count, grammatical categories, different topics, and punctuation categories, to study the differences in language use by the male and the female politicians. They were also used in examining some intragroup differences and correlations between variables. 

Several major gender differences emerged. The female politicians were shown to be more formal, critical and task-focused, while the male politicians were more socially oriented and elaborative, occupying the floor more than the female politicians. While the female politicians worked on establishing themselves as independent politicians, the male politicians embraced their collective identities. Also, the female politicians focused on raising the awareness of different health issues and providing support for patients and their families, the male politicians focused on the consequences and possible solutions to the problems.

The analysis includes implications for political discourse, and gender disparities within that discourse, and will be of interest to researchers in both politics and political science, and in gender and diversity.


Author: Dragana Bozic Lenard is Assistant Professor, University of Osijek, Croatia




"Gender Differences in Congressional Speeches brings together a wealth of previous work on language and gender, exploring various ways in which men and women have been found to differ in their communicative practices. The author applies these notions in a comprehensive study of the speeches of male and female American politicians serving in the 113th US Congress. Using a mixed methodology including computational sentiment analysis and qualitative discourse analysis, Bozic Lenard provides many fascinating insights into the ways that male and female Congress members communicate. Her analysis ranges across aspects such as pronoun use, quantifies and swear words, but also includes affective and cognitive processes. This is a useful volume for anyone interested in gender-related approaches to language or political discourse."

- Ruth Breeze, Full Professor, University of Navarra, Spain


"This meticulously crafted compendium delves into the fascinating interplay between gender and language, offering a comprehensive exploration of this complex subject. From its thorough examination of foundational theories to its insightful analysis of linguistic patterns, this book provides an engaging journey for readers. The author's extensive literature review, complemented by their own empirical research, presents a rich tapestry of knowledge and understanding. With its dynamic and accessible writing style, this book offers a compelling narrative that captivates both experts and enthusiasts alike."

Victoria Kamasa, Assistant Professor, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland


"Exploring the intricate world of gender differences and similarities in the speeches of American politicians during the 113th US congress, this book is a thought-provoking and enlightening read. The author delves into crucial elements like pronoun usage, emotional expressions and interrogative patterns to analyze the disparities’ and commonalities between male and female politicians. The subject matter is not only captivating but also prompts meaningful discussions on gender dynamics in politics. With its meticulous research and comprehensive approach, this book takes readers on an exploratory journey that unveils fascinating insights into the intersection of language, gender and politics.  A must-read for anyone interested in understanding the nuances of gender in public discourse."

- Gizem Kızıltunalı, Assistant Professor, Yaşar University, Izmir, Turkey


We would highly recommend this book to anyone having an interest in gender equality or gender differences, and especially readers who have a high propensity to fathom literary complexity and wish to further improve that capacity, as well as those who enjoy a high level of curiosity about political rhetoric in particular. Additionally, anyone with an interest in understanding the use of emotive language, self-promotion or persuasion, will benefit from this read.

 Dr. David Robinson, Head of Business School, Holmes Institute, Australia, and Dr Ashnil Murray, Torrens University, Australia

 To download this full review in PDF format, please click here

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