Gender Theorists

Mind map of all the gender theorists and their findings/ ideas.

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  • Gender Theorists
    • Robin Lakoff -Female language features
      • Hedges, Super polite forms, Tag questions, Italics, Empty adjectives, Hypercorrect grammar and pronunciation, Special lexicon...
      • ... Question intonation, Wh Imperative, speak less frequently, over use qualifiers, Apologise more, Modal constructions, Avoid coarse and expletive lang...
      • ... Indirect requests/ commands, Lack of sense of humour.
    • Janet Holmes- Tag Questions
      • 1. Referential- requiring information or showing uncertainty. (More common in men) E.g. 'This is the right room, isn't it?'
      • 2. Affective Facilitative -expressing solidarity or intimacy. E.g. 'We enjoyed that film didn't we?'
      • 3. Affective Softening- Soften a command or criticism. E.g. 'Get the door, would you?'
    • Deborah Tannen- Difference Theory
      • 6 contrasts= Status vs. Support, Independence vs. intimacy, Advice vs. Understanding, Information vs. Feelings, Orders vs. Proposals, Conflict vs. Compromise.
      • (Male aspect comes first) In her book 'You just don't understand'.
    • Deborah Jones- Gossip Theory
      • (90's) House talk: Female role as an occupation
      • Scandal: Judging behaviour of others
      • Bitching: (Aspect of threat) expression of anger at restricted role or inferior status. Expressed in private/safe place.
      • Chatting: Intimate- A mutual self disclosure used to show skills in nurturing others.
    • Deborah Cameron- The myth of Venus and Mars
      • Used Hyde's research. Findings suggest the idea of difference is a myth.
      • Fundamental differences are misleading. More differences within gender than between them.
    • Pamela Fishman- The Division of Labour
      • Female and male interaction. Found women try hardest to keep conversation going.
      • Features Explored: Questions, MSV, Attention getters, Topic Initiative (see folder for gender findings)
    • O'barr and Atkins- Power
      • Challenged Lakoff - what makes someone feminine.
      • Not about gender- How powerless you are in society/ situation. E.g. courtroom.
    • Janet Hyde- differences in Gender
      • Supports 'Myth of mars and Venus' (2005)
      • Differences between gender in certain areas. Findings: Talkativeness (Small diff 0.11), Speech punctuation (small diff 0.33), Assertive speech (small diff 0.11)
      • Smiling and spelling only moderate diff - Stereotype is false.
    • Jennifer Coates- Supportive + Cooperative
      • Women use epistemic modal forms E.g. perhaps, probably etc. to avoid face threatening acts = Cooperative and supportive.
      • Female talk based on negotiation+ support (Not found in mixed talk) Says tag questions make supportive and cooperative speech.
      • Supports Tannen and Lakoff. Builds on difference theory.
    • Zimmerman + West- presence of uncooperative featres
      • Whether there is a relationship between lang and gender. Investigating features E.g. overlaps, msv, silence, interruptions etc.
      • Silences are equal in same sex convos,in mixed women are more silent.
      • Overlaps/ interruptions equal in same sex convos, in mixed all male. When interrupted by a man women fell silent before speaking again, men picked up from here left off.
    • Dale Spender- Man made language
      • (Australian Feminist writer) Sexism with focus on the way men and women talk and listen differently in a group.
      • Argues that men are more in control and powerful. See themselves as the dominant gender. Women that fail to conform with this are abnormal.
      • Looked at same sex and mixed sex groups. Says superiority Is a myth but male power isn't.


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