English Theories

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  • Theory
    • Status vs support
      • Men use conversation as a contest
    • Independence vs intimacy
      • Men see consulting with their partner to be ‘asking for permission’ rather than simply discussing
    • Advice vs understanding
      • to many men, a complaint is a challenge to come up with a solution. But often women are looking for emotional support not solutions
    • Informative vs feelings
      • To men, talk is information. It has a practical purpose, and if it does not, it’s just not worth saying
    • Orders vs proposal
      • women hedge their orders, “Let’s…”. Men can feel by doing this, a women is trying to shyly manipulate him to do something rather than just directly ask like he would.
    • Conflict vs compromise
      • Women are reluctant to openly oppose others.
    • Dominance model
      • Men have traditionally had ore power in society than women. 98% of interruptions in conversations are by men.
    • Difference model
      • men and women have different conversation goals. Women's speech is co-operative and men's is competitive. Women hedge and interrupt less
    • Diversity model
      • Gender is one of many factors that may influence people’s use of language. There may be more differences between two women’s speech than between a man and women
    • Deficit model
      • Women are socialised to talk like ladies - make them sound powerless and ineffective. This suggests that women need to change their language as it is not good enough. Margaret Thatcher had voice training to lower her voice and sound more serious.
    • Grice's Maxims
      • Manner - Avoid ambiguity and be brief and orderly
      • Quantity - be informative as necessary: don't talk to much or too little
      • Relevance - keep to the point and be relevant to the current topic
      • Quality - be truthful and don't say things that lack evidence
    • Lakoff
      • Politeness principle. Don't impose, give options and make your receiver feel good
    • Face theory (Levinson)
      • positive face is when you feel valued liked and appreciated by someone's language. Negative face is when you feel imposed on
    • Instrumental power
      • Enforces authority and is imposed by laws and organisations
    • Influential power
      • Persuasive; makes us want to behave in a  certain way
    • Giles accommodation theory
      • Divergent: using language to increase social distance
      • Convergence: using language to decrease the social distance
    • Fairchlough
      • power behind discourse
      • Power in discourse
    • Propp's narrative theory
      • 'Hero and the Heroin'. The princess (in stries) act as the heros reward.
    • Todorov narrative theory
      • Start with equilibrium (a happy start where all major characters are content) which then becomes distrupted but the hero (usually male) restores the equilibrium
    • Naomi Walf - The beauty myth
      • How images of beauty are used against women


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