Traditional Views (Deficit Theory)

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  • Created by: BethScott
  • Created on: 19-04-15 11:36
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  • Traditional Views - Deficit Theory
    • Robin Lakoff (1975)
      • Women use tentative language
        • Adverbs
        • Excessive polite form
        • Tag question
        • Question innotation in statements
        • Modal verbs
        • Hedges & vague lang
      • Women use different Lexis
        • Weaker expletives than males
        • Specialised fashion & colour terms
        • Euphonisms
        • Empty adjectives
      • Women are socialised to believe that asserting themselves strongly isn't nice or ladylike or even feminine
    • Pamela Fisherman (1980)
      • Men
        • Direct statements to introduce topics
        • 'Kill' conversation with minimal responses
        • Succeeded introducing topic 96% of the time, even though women attempted to introduce topics more often
      • Women
        • Ask nearly 3x as many questions than men
        • Used 'attention beginnings' like "you know what?" to introduce topics
        • Used minimal responses to indicate support
      • Women are the "shitworkers" of routine interaction
    • Zimmerman and West (1975)
      • Men
        • Rarely interrupt one another but frequently interrupt women
      • Women
        • Frequently overlap each other but don't overlap men
    • West and Woods (1984)
      • Where status and gender are in conflict, as with the case of female doctors, gender seemed to override status
        • So that low status males would interrupt female doctors
      • Men take the role as experts and women downplay
    • Men use powerful language to take control
    • Women use 'tentative' or powerless language which reinforces their inferior position in society
    • Deficit Theorists made the assumption that men and their language are powerful and women and their language are powerless


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