Communication and Humanities



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Lily Buck, Ezra LaForme, CWP102: Argumentation and Research
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Jane Sullivan, College Writing Program, Professor Susan Mary Paige, Academic Success

Non-binary pronouns have become a part of our modern-day daily vernacular, whether we realize that we are using them or not. Yet many seem to have trouble using and understanding these pronouns. Why is it that so many people find non-binary pronouns difficult to incorporate into their speech, especially when requested to do so by a non-binary individual? The objective of this project was to identify and understand why older generations, in particular, are unable to properly use and fully understand pronouns like “they/them.” The hope is to help bridge the gap in communication. The project began with a literature review to examine the complicated linguistics issues regarding the connection between language and learning. The goal was to ascertain what connections there are to alter learned vocabulary and grammar rules. With prior IRB approval, using a sample of convenience, we interviewed two randomly selected groups of students and faculty at a four-year urban college. We collected data to identify the different strategies used by the participants to pick up the ability to use non-binary pronouns.

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The Acceptance of Non-Binary Pronouns
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