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Gender theorists and
Mainly aimed at AQA English language B…read more

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Deborah Tannen
· Difference theory
Men aim to seek status in their language, women aim to gain support
Men vs women
Status vs support
Information vs feeling Raport talk (men) Rapport talk (women)
Advice vs understanding
Get more time speaking Talk too much
Independence vs intimacy
Conflict vs compromise Speak in public Speak in private contexts
Raport vs rapport Compete Build relations
Speak individually Overlap (supportively)
Speak asymmetrically Speak symmetrically…read more

Slide 3

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Robin Lakoff 1975
Women · Avoid taboo
· Speak less frequently · Lack a sense of humour
· Show they are listening by using minimal · Use empty adjectives `lovely'
responses · Apologise more
· Use hyper correct pronunciation, SE · Use wh- imperatives
· Use more intensifiers `so', `very' · Use intonation in declarative sentences
· Use tag questions · Have special lexicon for certain categories,
· Over use qualifiers `I think that' e.g. colours
· Hedge ­ sort of, kind of · Use euphemisms more than men
· Super polite forms `would you mind' · Use diminutives more than men
· Indirect demands · Use direct quotations more ­ men
· Modal verbs `could', `shall' paraphrase frequently
· Avoid making threats…read more

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Zimmerman and west 1975
· Dominance theory
· In mixed conversations, men are more likely to interrupt
· Test = In 11 mixed conversations, men used 46 interruptions (96%)
but women only 2
· However, very small set of data and its very old. Plus the subjects of
the test were white, American, middle class and under 35 so don't
give a full idea of `all males/females'
· Suggested men try to dominate speaking…read more

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Jennifer Coates 1980
· Topic management and shift
· Men will often reject the topic of conversation introduced by women, not other way round
· Men discuss `male' topics
· Women are more likely to initiate conversations but less likely to make it succeed.
· Minimal responses are used by women to overtly offer support
· Hedges are used to encourage discussion and to avoid appearing challenging or
· Questions, used to encourage participation
· Turn-taking, overlapping conversations aids co-operation and topic development. Evidence
suggests that men seek to dominate and control whilst women tend to offer support via
minimal responces
· Jane Pilkington (1992) supported Coates, but also concluded that women aimed for more
positive politeness strategies in convo's with other women but men tended to be less
supportive and complimentary…read more

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Pamela Fishman 1983
· `Conversational shitwork'
· Believed that male and female conversations wont work as men don't
respond while women keep the conversation going
· Also claimed that in mixed convo's, men speak twice as long as
women…read more

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