Language and Gender

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  • Language and Gender (Spoken Language)
    • Robin Lakoff (1975)
      • Hedges: "Sort of", "Kind of"
      • Super Polite Forms: "Would you mind"
      • Tag Questions: "You're going to dinner, aren't you?"
      • Speak in Italics: "I'm so tired"
      • Empty Adjectives: "Lovely", "Adorable"
      • Use Modal Construction: "Should", "Would"
      • Use Indirect Commands or Requests: "It's cold in here" - implies turn the heat up
      • Lack a Sense of Humour
    • Dominance Model
      • Believes men interrupt more than women to show dominance
        • Zimmerman and West recorded 31 mixed sex conversations. In 11, men interrupted 46 times, women  interrupted 2 times
    • Difference Model (Deborah Tannen)
      • Status vs. Support
        • Men tend to use conversation in a competitive way in order to stop others dominating them. Whereas women tend to use conversation to seek comfort and reassurance
      • Independence vs. Intimacy
        • Women tend to seek support and comfort, which leads them to confide in others. However, men tend to act on their own as asking others would appear to be a loss of status and power
      • Information vs. Feeling
        • Men prefer to receive only the vital information, whereas women tend to talk about how they feel and talk for longer
      • Orders vs. Proposals
        • Women offer make suggestions, for example "why don't we?", whereas men prefer more direct approaches and imperatives.
      • Conflict vs. Compromise
        • When faced with conflict men appear to be extremely vocal, whereas women appear to accept it but complain subsequently
      • Advice vs. Understanding
        • Men tend to come up with simple solutions to a problem, whereas women seek comfort and for someone to support her.


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