Penelope Eckert received her B.A. in French from Oberlin College (1963), and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Columbia University (1969 and 1978, respectively). The goal of her research is to understand the social meaning of linguistic variation. In order to do this, she works within the context of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork, focusing on the relation between variation, linguistic style, social identity and social practice. Further, she also has spent time researching and language and gender, as gender has been the big misunderstood in studies of sociolinguistic variation.
Further information is available from her website.