Double-voicing at work: power, gender and linguistic expertise

Judith Baxter

Research output: Book/ReportBook


'Double-voicing' means that when a person speaks, they have a heightened awareness of the concerns and agendas of others, which is reflected in the ways they adjust their language in response to interlocutors. The Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin famously applied the concept of 'double-voiced discourse' to the world of literature, but just touched upon its relevance to everyday language. This book reveals how 'double-voicing' is an inherent and routine part of spoken interactions within educational and professional contexts. Double-voicing is closely related to the ways in which power relations are constructed between speakers, as it is often used by less powerful speakers to negotiate perceived threats from more powerful others. The book explores how women leaders use double-voicing more than men as a means of gaining acceptance and approval in the workplace. While double-voicing at times indexes a speaker's linguistic insecurity, the book argues that it can be harnessed to demonstrate linguistic expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon (UK)
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages128
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-34854-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-34852-4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Baxter, J., Double-voicing at work: power, gender and linguistic expertise, 2014, Palgrave Macmillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan
This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:


  • conversational insecurity
  • double-voicing
  • gender
  • single-voicing


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