RPP #4: Article Comparison

The primary claim of the Jakielka and Ozier article is that there are some unestablished and subtle connections between being raised in a community speaking a gender-based language (gender-based constituting a language that either has masculine and feminine nouns [English] or masculine and feminine forms of grammatical nouns [French]). The authors studied over 4,000 languages spoken by over 99% of people, using a neo positivist approach to generalize the impact of gendered nouns across all languages. In the literature review, the authors introduced social theories regarding the relationship between language and social perception that will serve as most useful to me. Gender roles were added to the study later as a specific variable of social perception. The data was organized through a regression analysis between “…the association between women’s labor force participation and the proportion of a country’s population whose native language is a gender language…” and using labor force participation as the primary outcome. [1] The primary claim of the selected Ignatieff text was that individuals do not have the capability to control the role virtue plays in a society, so it is up to our institutions to do so. The research was conducted by analyzing previously-studied social norm theories focused on the role of the individual, and arguing that certain historical institutions (such as religion and government) play a much larger role than the traditional idea of inherent human virtues. The data analyzed was primarily contextual, i.e. a textual comparison between Christianity and Confucianism featured socio-historical context of which each religion was a part of. [2]


I will use the Jakielka text as a format to draw my methodology. After describing my research topic to my mentor, she gave me the Gendered Language article as a template to connect social institutions to personal perception. The texts will relate to one another in that both make arguments of societal value creation through institutions. The Jakielka article is more of a practical application of this theory, the purpose of the Ignatieff article being to focus specifically on virtue, historically analyzing it through a similar lens. [1][2] In my paper, and it will be laid out in my literature review, I will put both of these articles in a grouping with other, similarly-methodized articles. Each article builds on established studies into social cohesion and value creation, also providing me with fundamental citations in those fields. 


[1] Jakielka, Pamela & Ozier, Owen. Gendered Language. Center for Global Development. Working Paper 500. (Jan. 2019). 1-55. Retrieved from: https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/gendered-language.pdf

[2] Ignatieff, Michael. The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2017. 6



Author: Price

I am a student at the American University School of International Service pursuing a degree in International Affairs.

One thought on “RPP #4: Article Comparison”

  1. Price — you’ve identified two texts that are relevant to your research and you do a good job discussing them in terms of the main methodological approach that each article takes. Be careful with source selection, though. Working papers are (usually) not peer reviewed scholarly sources. The university press book is a good scholarly source, though overall the current discussion for most topics is usually found in journals rather than in books. Beyond the key claims that you identify in each article, what other methodological aspects are important in these pieces? For instance, what key independent variables are tested? What kind of overall explanation does each article offer for puzzles like yours (such that you could think about whether those explanations are at the center of one or more of the conceptual groupings of scholars that you could analyze in your literature review)?

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