Communicative Acts in Overcoming Gender Violence

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:00
Oral Presentation
Marta SOLER GALLART, Department of Sociology, University of Barcelona, Spain
Ana VIDU, University of Deusto, Spain
Despite strong efforts to approach the scourge of violence against women and the progress achieved, latest data (WHO, 2017) place gender violence as the leading cause of death among women aged 15-44 worldwide; ahead of deaths from cancer, traffic accidents or wars. Research also show the devastating consequences produced by this reality. Gender violence is a social problem and everybody needs to act against this phenomenon. Facing this reality, Puigvert (2016) proposes the existence of a language of desire and a language of ethics when it comes to speaking about violent and non-violent individuals. Under this framework, the current paper deepens on the analysis of communicative acts from two main aspects: on one hand, to focus on the type of language used by educational professionals and adults who interact with youth when they talk either about violent or right attitudes. On the other hand, to shed light on the effects that these types of language have on the reproduction or rejection of gender violence by teenagers. As language takes place through interactions and gender violence may happen in everyday interactions among people, specific communicative acts may permit or avoid such situations of violence. Language and social interactions prove to be key in approaching violence and can contribute to develop an effective prevention strategy. The analysis of communicative acts (those including non-verbal communication in addition to the verbal speech acts) embraces the scheme of the present paper. The theoretical background, based on women's studies and sociolinguistics, departs from Puigvert's conceptual framework on language and gender violence in order to analyze concrete communicative acts for their use of language of desire vs language of ethics and their impact on gender violence rejection or reproduction among teenagers. The paper provides knowledge on the potential of using language to fight against gender violence.