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The language of cisnormativity: children and parents in interaction with a multimodal app

Journal article
Authors Stina Ericsson
Published in Gender and Language
Volume 12
Issue 2
Pages 139-167
ISSN 1747-6321
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 139-167
Language en
Keywords children, cisgender, cisnormativity, genderism, interaction, speaking, negotiation, Linguistics, Women's Studies, ott mb, 1968, american sociological review, v33, p46
Subject categories Languages and Literature


Cisgender concerns the coherence of gender, over time, in perception, and through actions and identities. This article explores cisgender through the concept of cisnormativity - the normalisation of cisgendering - and its operation in spoken and multimodal interactions. Cisnormativity, like other normativities, is often conveyed implicitly and as such goes unnoticed in interaction. Through analysis of interaction at the micro level, this article shows how cisnormativity is produced and reproduced by speakers. The data comes from recordings of 23 children, mainly aged 5-8, in conversations with their parents and using an interactive app, on topics concerning families and relationships. The results show how cisnormativity is produced by the participants using various linguistic and communicative resources, such as smiles and laughter, evaluations, accounts, and the sequential organisation of interaction. Cisnormativity also interacts with other normativities, notably heteronormativity, in the data. Challenges to cisnormativity are shown to be temporary and situated.

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