English Language - Gender Theorists

Notes on genger theorists

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  • Created by: Habby
  • Created on: 14-05-10 18:47

English Language - Gender Theorists

Lakoff, 1975

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Lakoff, 1975

One of the first women to publish theories on the existence of women's language.

Published 10 basic assumptions of women's language:

  • Hedging
  • (Super) Polite Forms
  • Tag Questions
  • Speaking in Italics
  • Empty Adjectives (eg. perfect, divine)
  • Hyper-correct Grammar and Punctuation
  • Sense of Humour Lacking
  • Direct Quotation
  • Special Lexicon
  • Question Intonation on Declarative Statements

Many of these points agree with Otto Jesperson's theories.

(Mainly relevant to only spoken language)

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English Language - Gender Theorists

Zimmerman and West, 1975

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Zimmerman and West, 1975

Analysed conversations between males and females in a college community.

They found:

  • Interruptions were distributed evenly in a 'same sex' conversation.
  • Interruptions were distributed unevenly in a 'cross sex' conversation.
  • 96% of interruptions were done by males.

They concluded:

  • 'Men deny women equal status as conversational partners.'

The study supports the Dominance Theory

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English Language - Gender Theorists

Jesperson, 1922

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Jesperson, 1922

Published the first piece in modern linguistics on women's language.

Stated that women's language was less expansive.

Thought male speech was typical for the development of new words, not female's.

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English Language - Gender Theorists

Tannen, 1994

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Tannen, 1994

She was a Professor of Linguists at Georgetown University.

Studies linguists and their effect on intimate relations in males and females.

Dedicated student of Lakoff.

Dedicated much research to gender differences:

  • Claims there is a difference in the way men and women talk.

Claims women are more likely to refrain from criticisms than men and 'save face' for their male subordinates.

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English Language - Gender Theorists

Trudgill, 1983

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Trudgill, 1983

Studied social class accents in men and women.

Discovered women were more likely to use Standard English and Received Pronunciation.

This is an example of Overt Prestige.

(Mainly relevant to spoken texts)

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English Language - Gender Theorists

Cheshire, 1982

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Cheshire, 1982

Studied adolescents and their use of grammar in boys and girls.

Discovered boys are more likely to use Non-Standard Grammar and Taboo Language.

This is an example of Covert Prestige.

(Relevant to both spoken and written texts)

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English Language - Gender Theorists

Holmes, 1984

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Holmes, 1984

Studied women's language.

Thought women's language was 'Co-Operative'

This went against Lakoff.

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English Language - Gender Theorists

Cameron, 2007

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Cameron, 2007

Studied women's language.

Thought there were very few differences between male and female language.

Thought the difference in the language features used depended on what social situations they were in.

This went against Lakoff.

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English Language - Gender in the Workplace

Holmes, 2000

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Holmes, 2000

Masculine Characteristics are seen as the way to be a successful manager.

Masculine Style:

  • Direct
  • Aggressive
  • Autonomous
  • Dominates talking time
  • Interrupts aggressively
  • Task orientated
  • Referentially orientated

Feminine Style:

  • In-direct
  • Conciliatory
  • Facilitative
  • Collaborative
  • Talks less than men
  • Has difficulty getting a turn person orientated
  • Affectively orientated

If people perform gender identities that don't match society's expectations, this can lead to a negative evaluation of someone in the workplace.

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English Language - Gender in the Workplace

Woods, 1989

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Woods, 1989

Male subordinates dominate by holding the floor for longer than their female bosses.

Males interrupt more frequently which gives less assent to the female speaker.

Gender overrides status in the workplace. Men are still dominate regardless of their female boss status.

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English Language - Gender in the Workplace

Thimm, 2003

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Thimm, 2003

Men use far wider speech strategies than women.

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English Language - Gender in the Workplace

Litosseliti, 2006

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Litosseliti, 2006

In traditionally male lines of work, women tend to adopt the masculine styles of language

E.g:

  • Police
  • Politics, etc..
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English Language - Gender in the Workplace

Coates, 1995

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Coates, 1995

Males speech patterns are seen as the 'norm'.

Metaphors

  • These can reveal underlying attitudes. Many areas of work use sporting metaphors (team players, ball park figures) and war metaphors (tactics, strategies, biting the bullet)
  • Such language is masculinised and reinforces existing stereotypes by promoting masculine type attitudes and language as the 'norm'.
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English Language - Gender in the Workplace

Holmes and Stubbs, 2006

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Holmes and Stubbs, 2006

Some women adopt a 'mother role'

E.g:

  • Bossy
  • Nurturing

This counters Coates theory of masculine language being the 'norm'.

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English Language - Gender in the Workplace

Litosseliti, 2006

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Litosseliti, 2006

"The mother role neatly illustrates how women attempt to construct socially acceptable identities for themselves in order to avoid negative evaluation"

This compliments Trudgill's theory that women are more likely to used Standard English and Received Pronunciation - Overt Prestige.

This also compliments Cheshire's theory that women are less likely to use Non-Standard Grammar and Taboo Language - another example of Overt Prestige.

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Comments

chelle

thanks!!

Katherine Ofsarnie

Thank you so much!

Steve Newey

Really useful! Thanks buddy! :D

anna spokes

brilliant thanks a lot! **

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