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Book: Gender Matters

Chapter: 5. Transitivity analysis

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.19767


The aim of this essay is to evaluate critically a form of close feminist textual analysis – the analysis of transitivity choices, that is, who does what to whom in a text. Following Deirdre Burton’s influential essay on transitivity, this chapter sets this type of analysis within a wider framework of feminist textual analysis and considers some of the advantages of a close textual analysis in general for feminist work (Burton, 1982). It also considers some of the difficulties which this type of work engenders, and proposes a model of feminist analysis prepared to acknowledge some of the difficulties of attributing straightforward meanings to sets of language items. 

Chapter Contributors

  • Sara Mills ( - book-auth-461) 'Sheffield Hallam University'