2. LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1The Studies of Women Migrants The issue of migration and the whole setof consequences that it engenders have been the focus of many academicinvestigations in recent years. Migration provokes questions aboutcross-cultural communication, multiculturalism and multilingualism as parts ofpersonal and group identities, and also the troubles and discrimination thatespecially woman migrants face in receiving countries. Women migrants and their socio-culturalposition is an important aspect of the studies with most recent publicationspertaining to the situation of women using multiple languages in their privatelives and employment. Extensive European research projects on migrant womenshow that for most of them language is the main source of problems inemployment and integration. (ENMW, p.
38) Even multilingual women facediscrimination and are forced to be employed in low-paid positions and feelthat their language abilities are ignored. (EC, p. 9) Those findings areconfirmed by a study conducted in the US where it was discovered thatmultilingual migrant women relate to two types of language experiences: language conflicts and language difficulties. (De Fina, King,p.
183) However, there are also publications thatarrive at more positive conclusions. Kronenberg (2016) analysed Polish migrantwomen autobiographical texts from a period between 2004 and 2014 and discoveredthat living in a multicultural society and becoming multilingual allowed thosewomen to find their own voices in the public sphere, construct alternativeforms of identity, become aware of discriminatory ideologies, and express theirindividual experiences. Also, a study conducted at the University in Osloshowed optimistic perspectives for integration of children of migrants intoNorwegian society and a potential for creating a new diverse middle class.(UiO, 2015) Therefore, it would be desirable toconduct a similarly oriented study among migrant women in Taiwan. It canprovide new feminist insights into the language and gender ideologiespertaining to the use of English, Mandarin Chinese and other languages bymigrant women. It can also show new language strategies of forming personal identities,which in consequence generate group identities in the emerging multiculturaland multilingual society of Taiwan, and broadly in the globalising world. 2.
2 Key Theoretical Concepts Analysing and deconstructionlanguage ideologies and studying identities that are build through language andlanguage practices in a multilingual surrounding demand clarification of thekey concepts (language, ideology, identity) and showing how they converge.Thus, ideology is understood here inthe traditional Marxist way as fake consciousness. Through language itfunctions mainly by the process of interpellation(Althusser, p. 181), which means that thesubjects are hailed to take upimaginary identities and treat themas obvious and natural. Language, in the light of pragmatism, can be viewed asa tool of dealing with events (Grosz, p. 27) and making sense of ourexperiences. (Rorty, p. 41) Migration is a special type of event that generatesbreaches in cultural and linguistic boundaries and in consequence engenderslanguage problems but also openings for change and improvement.
This shows thatlanguage is not only an ossified symbolic and ideological order but also asphere of agency and freedom. 2.3 Narrative Analysis Model All these issues are perfectly linked inLabov’s theory of oral narrative analysis. In NarrativeAnalysis: Oral Versions of Personal Experience, Labov and Waletzkytake a sociolinguistic approach to researching how language functions.
This issignificant as it contextualizes the study of structures and forms, combining aimsto methods. It iscrucial for this research that Labov describes narrative as having two functions: referential and evaluative, with its referential functionsorienting and grounding a story in its contextual world by referencing eventsin sequential order as they originally occurred (Labov, p. 32), andits evaluative functionsdescribing the storyteller’s aims in telling the story.
(p. 41) Formallyanalysing data from orally-generated texts collected during 600 interviews, Labovdivides narrative into six sections: abstract (overview of the story), orientation (informationabout the person, place, time, and situation), complication (themain story, during which the narrative unfolds), evaluation (explicit or implicit purpose to the story), resolution(a sense of completion), coda (return to the present out of the world ofthe story into the world of the storytelling event). (Labov, pp. 32-39) While not every narrativeincludes all of these sections, the purpose of this subdivision is to show thatnarratives have inherent structural order. Labov claimed that narrative unitsmust retell events in the order that they were experienced because narrativeis temporally sequenced. In other words, events do not occur atrandom, but are connected to one another and thus the original semanticinterpretation depends on their original order.
(p. 21) To demonstrate thissequence, he breaks a story down into its basic parts. He defines narrativeclause as the basic unit of narrative aroundwhich everything else is built. Clauses can be distinguished from one anotherby temporal junctures, which indicate a shift in time andwhich separate narrative clauses. (p.
25) Temporal junctures mark temporal sequencingbecause clauses cannot be rearranged without disrupting their meaning. Therefore, it would be advisable toutilise this concept to study the language experiences of migrant womenexpressed through narratives, especially because Labov himself encouragedscholars to analyse narratives from different cultures using his model. (Labov,p. 42) Also, narratives are the perfect site for the study of the convergenceof migration, multilingualism and language ideologies as they are founded oncommon presuppositions that can be shared or resisted. (Baynham and De Fina, p.91) However, as the object of this study is women’s experience, it is necessaryto enrich Labov’s model with theories of feminine language derived fromsociolinguistics and feminist theory. Thus, for this study, the model ofanalysis will be enriched with concepts of revisionist feminist criticism, gynocritics, arachnology,and écritureféminine. 2.
4The Languages of Women One of the most profound and influential fields of feminist theory is feminist literary studies. The feministliterary research methodology wasdeveloped in the 1970s and it canbe associated with the second-wavefeminism. At that time, the main objective of feministstudies was analyzing culture and taking into accountwomen’s experience and the female way ofdescribing the world, tracing thepresence of women in literary texts and creating a new descriptive language of literature, which could express woman’s pointof view.
Feminist criticismuses theories borrowed from a variety ofacademic orientations: structuralism, semiotics, deconstructionism, psychoanalysis and cultural studies. (Burzy?ska, p. 399) Feminist literary studies is an incredibly rich and diverse field of academic research andaccording to some researchers, each ofits prominent representativescreates their own theoretical framework. However, some of the theories stand out as particularlyinteresting and valuable and it would be advisable to describe them briefly.Those theories are: revisionist feminist criticism, gynocritics, arachnology,and écritureféminine. Revisionist feminist criticism is a typical exampleof second-wave feminism critical trend. Its purpose wasto seek out patriarchal and misogynist ideologies and fixed stereotypesin the literary texts and literature theory. The aim was the revision of the existing traditionsand the literary canon, established from the male point of view, as well as exposing hypocritical concealment of women’ssubordinate role in literature.
This field is represented by Judith Fetterley and Mary Ellmann.Nowadays, this trendis developing in relation to theinvolvement of feminist criticism in the tracking of allforms of discrimination. Gynocritics is thesecond important trend in feminist literary criticism.
It was also createdduring the peak of popularity of second-wave feminism. Gynocriticsrejected the idea of revisionism and abstained from any dependence on the maleperspective, but instead focused on women’s studies with an affirmativeapproach to female literary tradition. The main goal was to discover thespecificity of literature created by women – femininity of such texts. The researchers wanted to know if this femininityis one of their intrinsic properties or if it is created during reception andanalysis of the text. Gynocritics is a term that was introduced byElaine Showalter in 1979. According to Showalter, gynocritics candistinguish four groups of models of defining emininity, corresponding to thecriteria that determine the specificity of women’s writing. Firstly, shedescribes the biological model, which is based on the assumption thatthe specificity of women’s writing corresponds to women’s carnality andsensuality.
This gave the writers courage in talking about carnality andsexuality. However, the danger of this model lies in assigning too muchimportance to the body in the process of reading and writing. Secondly,Showalter described the language and textual model that answers thequestions on the specificity of women’s use of language. This model alsorepeatedly postulated the construction of women’s specific language (language of sisterhood). The biggestshortcoming of this model, according to Showalter, is the tendency to isolationfrom the influences of other languages ??and a rich variety of alternativeliterary conventions and standards.
Thirdly, we have the psychoanalyticmodel, which focuses on the relationship between a woman’s psyche andfemale writing. It is also trying to fill the gaps in traditionalpsychoanalysis, the acute exclusion related to women’s experience, so typicalfor Freaud or Lacan. Therefore, it seeks to expand the knowledge of thepsychological aspects of mother-daughter relationships and also femalefriendships. The disadvantages of this model were ignoring or underestimationof the impact of cultural factors on the specificity of women’s writing.Fourthly, Showalter described the cultural model that tries to collectand combine all of the other perspectives and also place them in a broadcultural context.
Showalter considers it to be the most promising and fruitfulmethod of studying. (Burzy?ska, pp. 406-409) Arachnology is a style offeminist literary criticism, created by Nancy K. Miller. The name of the style bears great significance, because it is polemicallyreferring to the idea of hyphologyby Roland Barthes, which implies that the text is a kind of fabric and the authordissolves in its texture.
The name also invokes the mythof Arachne (a woman turned into a spider), opposed to the myth of Ariadne(a woman who helped Hercules). According to Miller,the specificity of women’swriting is based on the assumption thata woman writer, like Arachne, leaves in herwork clear traces of herself.Therefore, women have a strong presence in the text with a clear creative subjectivity.(Miller, p. 272) The idea of ??a womanas the spider-creator also highlights the strong relationshipbetween a woman’s body and her works, and the fusion of the artistic sphere with the domestic/familysphere (opposed to the typicalmale idea of the ??separationof the creative act from everydaylife issues and the eccentricity of artistic creation). Écriture féminineis a mainstream feministcriticism style akin to gynocritics. It was formulated in France in the 1970s and bears strong traces of inspiration by the achievements of post-structuralism.This trend persistently opposes the creation of an in-depth theory (considering this to be one of thecharacteristics of men’s academic approach) and focuses on the practice of writing, which was dominatedby sexuality, physicality and ambiguity.
Hélène Cixous,Julia Kristeva and Lucy Irigaray are the most prominent representatives of thisstyle. All of the above-mentioned styles offeminist literary studies have a profoundcontribution to the development of feminist theory. However, if we look closely into the issue of afemale subject that they are proposing, we can clearly see that most of themare based on the assumption of existence of a universal, general femalesubjectivity, transcending the boundaries of race, ethnicity, religion, socialclass, and sexual orientation. This assumption has many negative effects, forexample it creates deceptive notions of universal female problems, patriarchyand methods for theemancipation of women. Not all theoreticians avoided touching theinterconnectedness of the issues of gender, race and class.
It was Simone deBeauvoir who first mentioned the problem of the lack of solidarity betweenwhite women and women of color or rich women and working-class women. She wrotethat: If theybelong to the bourgeoisie, they feel solidarity with men of that class, notwith proletarian women; if they are white, their allegiance is to white man,not to Negro women. (Beauvoir, p.
25) Opposing those convections gave theimpulse to the creation of the third-wave feminism. Third wave theoreticians actively involved themselvesinto fighting for the rights of the excluded from the mainstream culture andthus from the academic discourses. The theoreticians indicated that earlierfeminism was a movement ofmiddle-class, white women fromthe West who spoke on behalf of women ingeneral and did not see the different positions and problem in thediversity of different types of female experience. As a result, many new trendsin feminist theory emerged: black feminism, Latino feminism, Third-world feminism, lesbian feminism and eco-feminism. These movements have criticized former feminist convections, especially the belief that there is a common and immutable essenceof femininity. Meanwhile, the experiences of women are very diverse and therefore, white, straight, middle-class feminists can not impose their definition of femininity and speak on behalf of all women. For many activists, itis also impossible to fight for equalrights and women’s emancipation, if we isolate womenfrom other oppressed groups: people who are discriminated based onrace, ethnicity, religion or social class.
The most prominent and influential literature theorist, associated withthird-wave feminism is bell hooks1,whose works are important examples of back feminism. She conducted deepanalyses of feminist discourses and feminist literary theory and redefined theunderstanding of the goals of feminist critics. In her Feminist Theory we can find a passage, which perfectly encapsulateshooks’ findings. She wrote that: Feminism as amovement to end sexist oppression directs our attention to systems ofdomination and the interrelatedness of sex, race, and class oppression.Therefore, it compels us to centralize the experiences and social predicamentsof women who bear the brunt of sexist oppression as a way to understand thecollective social status of women in the United States. Defining feminism as amovement to end sexist oppression is crucial for the development of theorybecause it is a starting point indicating the direction of exploration andanalysis.
The foundation of future feminist struggle must be solidly based on arecognition of the need to eradicate the underlying cultural basis and causesof sexism and other forms of group oppression. Without challenging and changingthese philosophical structures, no feminist reform will have a long-rangeimpact. (hooks, p. 33)1She insists her name be written using lowercase.