This paper focusses on cultural key-words in disciplinary cultures and the Western world at large bringing together corpus-based analysis and insights from cognitive linguistics and recent works on the cultural dimension of idioms. In particular, we demonstrate that glass-ceiling is a cultural keyword, which signals the need to renegotiate the identity and public role of women in contemporary Western society while at the same time pointing to the imbalance between paid and unpaid work in family life. As such, glass-ceiling names the effects of tacit gender assumptions based on cultural, social and institutional patterns which tend to associate women with FAMILY responsibilities and men with JOB, WORK and CAREER against the background of the discussion on gender (in)EQUALITY. It comes therefore as no surprise that, besides referring to lexicographic evidence both for the constituent words and the compound itself, a convincing post-hoc explanation of the meaning of glass-ceiling could not do without taking into account material and cultural knowledge, i.e. specific cultural, social and institutional patterns, values and stereotypes as observed in our data. This enabled us to account for the emergence of glass-ceiling as an established recent metaphorical compound which structures and conceptualises an otherwise barely structured situation in private, public, institutional and professional settings.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Titolo:||On the role of knowledge and images in post-factum explanations of culturally significant N-N compounds: the glass-ceiling|
|Titolo del libro:||Threads in the Complex Fabric of Language. Linguistic and Literary Studies in Honour of Lavinia Merlini|
|Nome editore:||Felici Editore|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Capitolo/Saggio|
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