CHAPTER mainly so). In this light, the study was

CHAPTER FIVE

FINDINGS, SUMMARY, ANDCONCLUSION

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5.0.      Introduction

In this chapter, I conclude this
research by giving a summary of what has been done, the findings, and some
recommendations. The summary includes the important details in Chapters 1, 2,
3, and 4; it accounts for how the research hypotheses have been tested using
some analytical methods to investigate data collected. I also give account of
the findings made that are relevant to the aim and objectives of this study. In
what follows, these details come under 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.

5.1.      Summary and
Findings

The study investigated the presence of
some sexist ideologies in the society reflected in the use of language using
Feminist Stylistic. The assumption was that the way people use language can be
sexist- even unintentionally (and mainly so). In this light, the study was done
to test how apparent sexist ideologies are and how people respond to them.

The research was conducted from a
feminist standpoint, and it used the tools of feminist stylistics as proposed
by Sara Mills (1995) and (2012). The first, which is a Three Part Model of
Analysis entails investigating three levels of language (lexical, phrasal and
syntactic, and discourse) for sexist leanings. This theory was applied to
investigate sexist ideologies, as revealed by use of language, against women in
Yejide Kilanko’s Daughter who Walk this Path. The second part of the
analysis was done using Mill’s (2012) Readers-response Examination. This was
achieved by administering questionnaires directed at inciting usable responses
related to the study. The respondents, residents of Zone D2 in Iba Housing
Estate, were chosen on the premise of social class. The assumption was that
social class is a determinant of exposure. These people were believed to be in
the middle and lower classes. The respondents were classified into categories
by three factors – age, sex, and gender. The aim here was to test readers’ responses
to sexist ideologies in language use and track changes in these responses by
comparing responses in three categories.

The results of the research showed,
first, that there is no difference in the manner males and females use language
in a sexist way. This validated one of the hypotheses developed for this work. Therefore,
when we hear that the “the society oppresses women”, women,
themselves are active members of the oppressors. However, findings showed that each gender is inclined
towards subjectivity. This means that in using language, both genders have been
observed to affirm sexist ideologies that are favourable to them. So, while
males affirmed that “only male children are supposed to be heir”, females
resisted this ideology. Also, while females affirmed that drivers and mechanics
should be males, they resisted the ideology that nursing is a female profession. In the same light, while males
affirmed that nursing is a female
profession, many of them resisted the ideology that drivers and mechanics
should be males. This was the only finding observed to generally influence
interpretation of sexist ideologies in language use across all age ranges.

Going further, other findings showed that apart from the above, factors
that influence reactions of these respondents to sexist ideologies cannot be
generalised. Each age range is influenced by distinctive factors, and these factors
determine how they use language, and understand and interpret sexist
ideologies. From the respondents who were 40 and above, findings revealed that
they were less inclined to follow sexist stereotypes that ‘recommend’ certain
topics of interest for each gender. It was observed that almost the same
percentage of both males and females discussed the same topics. The reason they
gave suggested that those topics- such as work-
were needed for survival. The topics they did not discuss as often, simply did
not affect course of their lives. For the respondents who were 16-25, responses
showed ‘the need to be trendy’ as one of the factors that influenced their
reaction to sexist ideologies in language use. Findings also revealed that knowledge of
sexism or exposure cannot be generalised as a factor that influences reader’s
responses to sexism. While 70% of the respondents who are 26-30 had knowledge
of sexism, it was observed that their responses were similar to those in the
40-above age range from who only % had knowledge of sexism.

Furthermore, pattern of the change in reactions to sexist ideologies
cannot be identified. Indeed, it cannot be generalised also. We notice that
while some responses remained similar throughout the three age ranges, some
changed unexpectedly, and some are interpreted from totally different perspectives.
Nevertheless, knowledge of sexism varied predictably across the age ranges – a
larger percentage of the younger and ‘more exposed’ generation had knowledge of
sexism than the older ‘less exposed’ generation.

5.2.      Recommendation

Language use is inevitable in human existence, so
are the inferences that are made to initiate meaning and understanding. These meanings
reflect ideologies and social orientations. Therefore, one recommendation is
that individuals should educate themselves on the properties of language so as
to avoid misunderstandings and unintentional slips. Feminist stylistics
proposes what is known as ‘alternative forms’. Alternative forms are linguistic
forms that are used instead of generic or sexist forms. For example, instead
all saying “everyone should write his
name on the board”, one should substitute ‘his’ for ‘their’
or ‘his or her’. In this light, gradual withdrawal from use of sexist
language will begin; giving room to eventual resistance to sexist ideologies in
language use… and other aspect of the society. It is high time ‘Dr. (Mrs) and
‘male nurse’ became strange to the ear.

Also, feminism is not a misguided attempt by
females to regain a ‘lost glory’. It is the very
much needed movement aimed at ending sexism in the society. It does not
benefit females alone, but both genders, as it points out all sexist issues in
the society and how they affect social orientation. The focus of feminism,
however, is the female gender. Therefore, another recommendation is that
researchers should investigate sexist issues against males too (indeed, there
are many), so that the fight to end sexism would not seem one sided.

Furthermore, the focus of this research was on
supposedly ‘unexposed’ individuals. The results show, however, that assumptions
concerning how this society responds to sexist ideologies were not entirely
valid. Therefore, other factors identified in the findings should be
investigated. Researchers should also investigate the ‘exposed’ society and test
how they also respond to sexism in language use. Generally, more studies should
be done to determine factors that influence affirmations of sexist ideologies.

In addition, writers and linguists should also
incite awareness of sexist issues in the society by writing about them and
showing their negative results. They should show that interest in anything
should be a personal decision, and not one to be affected by societal
constructs. However, I affirm that gendelectal differences are true. More
researches should be done to show that this does not make one gender stronger
or weaker than the other. One respondent I spoke to gave a comment that I
consider to be valid- “because a lady
likes pink and does not shout, it doesn’t make her weak. It does not make her
‘lady-like’, either. This is simply
the mindset of some people”. Linguists and writers, of all people, know how
to use language strategically; I recommend that they employ this strategy to
join the fight to end sexism.

 

5.3.      Conclusion

This research investigated the relationship
between linguistic structures and socially construed meanings in a literary
text and a community of people from a feminist standpoint. This was done on the
premise of testing affirmations, negotiations, and resistances of sexist
ideologies. Th