Communication about Sex and Gender

What is the power of language? When social messages about sex and gender seem harmful or uninviting, people sometimes work toward social change through the medium of language itself. More specifically, activists have sometimes created neologisms—new words—or engaged in resignifications of existing words—in which one rejects the existing meaning’s normative power, exposes how the term’s meaning is constructed, and attempts to change its connotation—as tactics of intervention. Unsettled is the question: How valuable are neologisms and resignifications to communication about sex and gender?

For this critical essay, select one sex- or gender-related neologism or resignification, take a position on the value of that neologism/resignification, and support your position through course-specific concepts. More specifically: Do you think the neologism/ resignification you have selected is a valuable contribution to communication about sex and gender? Why or why not?

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In your opening paragraph, specify the neologism/resignification you have selected and provide a brief account of its history and context, as well as some examples of its usage. At the end of your opening paragraph, clearly announce your position about the value of the word you have selected. See more details at

In the next four paragraphs, make use of four concepts from our readings to support your thesis statement. More specifically, define each of the following four concepts and connect each concept to your position:

Standpoint theory (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, “Alternative Approaches…”)
Social Constructionism (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, “Alternative Approaches…”)
Intersectionality (Griffin, “Intersectional Definitions…”)
Method of Archeology (McKinnon, “Excavating Gender…”)
Be sure to:

Title your essay.
Announce your position clearly.
Use all assigned readings.
Integrate at least one additional reference beyond our assigned readings.
Use in-text citations for all quotations and paraphrases.
Use a 10- to 12-point font and 1” margins on all sides.
Double-space your essay.
Submit no more than three pages of exposition.
Include a reference list separated from your main text by a page break.
Submit a Word document (.doc or .docx, not PDF or Pages).
Submit your anti-plagiarism certificate to our Canvas site.
Make use of the resources located in the “Introduction to the Course” module on our Canvas site.
Note: You do not need a title page or a concluding paragraph.

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