Gender Theories

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 21-03-13 13:11

Robin Lakoff

Hedges are used by women when they are uncertain of something.
The use of super polite forms are used by women, for example; 'I'd appreciate it if..'.
Tag questions are used when asking an indirect question.
Women also use emply adjectives when describing things, such as 'lovely' and 'adorable'.
She believes that women are less frequent speakers than men.
It is belived that women apologise more, as they care more about others feelings.
Women don't understand punch lines and jokes as they lack a sense of humour.
Finally, women have a special lexicon of colours where as men have sports and cars.

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Zimmerman and West

A theory based on mixed-sex conversations.

An investigation was carried out to help prove their theory, they found that:

Men are more likely to interrupt than women - as they had recorded 11 mixed conversations and men had 46 interruptions as women only had 2.

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Studdied how often men and women interrupt each other.

He disagrees with Zimmerman and West as he believes that women interrupt with more or less at an equal frequency with men.

Men with 33.1 and women with 33.8.

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Pamela Fishman

Fisherman found that mixed-sex conversations sometimes failed, not because of how women talk but how men respond or a lack of response that they give. Women would ask questions to try and gain a response from men.

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Deborah Tannen

Made a summary of the differences between men and women in her book 'You Just Don't Understand'.

Satus - Support
Independance - Intimacy
Advice - Understanding
Information - Feelings
Orders - Proposals
Conflict - Compromise

It is beleived that they are typically judged on males first.

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Peter Trudgill

Trudgill investigated how men and women speak within different social classes.

Trudgill found that men were less likely and women were more likely to to use the prestige pronunciation of certian speech sounds. He foud that women tended towards hypocorrectness, where as men would often use low prestige.

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Jennifer Coates

Jennifer Coates studied all-female conversations. She argues that all women conversations can fall into one of the following categories:

House Talk - Distinguishing function is the exchange of information and resources connected with the female role as an occupation.

Scandal - Considered judging of the behaviour of others, and women in particular.

Bitching - Overt expression of women's anger at their restricted role and inferior status. They express this in private to women only, and the women who ***** are not expecting change; they wat only to make their complaints in an environment where their anger will be understood and expected.

Chatting - Most intimate forms of gossip, a mutual self-disclosure, a transaction where women use to their own advantage the skills that they have learnt from previous jobs of nurturing others.

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Deborah Cameron

Deborah says that women have been instructed in the proper ways of talking just as they have been instructed in the proper ways of dressing. 

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