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ERIC Number: ED175028
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Man (Embracing Woman): The Generic in Sociological Writing.
Schulz, Muriel
Philosophical works and sociological writings from the seventeenth through the twentieth century are analyzed in this paper to learn the degree to which their use of generics (linguistic terms such as "mankind" that are used to refer to all humans) can be said to have actual reference to all adults without consideration of sex. The paper notes that it is not easy to determine when a writer is using terms such as "man,""mankind," or "human nature" generically and suggests that writers are likely to slip in and out of generic usage of terminology without appearing to notice what is happening. Three causes are cited for the ambiguity of the terms "man" and "mankind": the words themselves have dual reference, a rule of English grammar insists that the pronoun replacement of terms referring to human beings generically be masculine, and many generics, such as "salesman," are semantically marked as masculine words. Examples taken from writers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, George Mead, and Vilfredo Pareto are used to exemplify the ways in which the generic use of words actually reflects a masculine orientation to the world. (MKM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Study prepared at California State University