Approaches in Language and gender

HideShow resource information
What is the deficit model and who proposed this idea (and what year)?
Deficit Model is an approach established by Robin Lakoff (1975) that introduces a 'women's language' as classified by linguistic trends in women's speech.
1 of 36
How did Lakoff describe male speech in comparison to female speech?
Lakoff describes male language as stronger, more prestigious and more desirable.
2 of 36
How many claims did Lakoff make about speech in the deficit model?
He made 12 claims
3 of 36
Can you name the 12 claims?
Speak less frequently; minimal responses (mm/yeah); Hedging; super-polite forms; tag questions; empty adjectives; describe approxiamate amounts; direct quotation; imperatives; indirect commands/requests; avoid threats/insults; more euphamisms
4 of 36
An example(s) of hedging.
phrases like “sort of”, “kind of”, “it seems like”
5 of 36
An example(s) of the 'super-polite' form.
“Would you mind...”,“I'd appreciate it if...”, “...if you don't mind”
6 of 36
An example(s) of tag-questions.
Common tags include 'won't you?' 'wasn't it?' 'don't you?' 'haven't you?' 'okay?' and 'right?'
7 of 36
An exmaple(s) of empty adjectives.
divine, lovely, adorable, and make more emotional evaluations
8 of 36
An exmaple(s) of adjectives used to describe approximate amounts.
around, about
9 of 36
An example(s) of an indirect command or request.
e.g. “My, isn't it cold in here?” -request to close a window
10 of 36
Who countered Lakoff's idea about women's language and how did they go about this?
O'Barr and Atkins opposed Lakoffs claims; they studied courtroom cases for 30 months, observing a broad spectrum of witnesses, and examining them for the ten basic speech differences between men and women that Lakoff proposed.
11 of 36
What did O'Barr and Atkins initially discover?
They discovered that Lakoff’s proposed differences were not necessarily the result of being a woman, but of being powerless.
12 of 36
What else did they discover during the study?/ Did any patterns emerge from this study?
They found that the women who used the lowest frequency of women’s language traits had a high status (well-educated + from middle class backgrounds).The same pattern was common among the men who spoke with a low frequency of women’s language traits
13 of 36
Was there anything else O'Barr and Atkins tries to emphasise from their research?
O’Barr and Atkins tried to emphasise that a powerful position “may derive from either social standing in larger society and/or status accorded by the court”.
14 of 36
What was the name of Jennifer Coates book called?
Women, Men and Language
15 of 36
What approach did she argue for?
The Dynamic Approach
16 of 36
Name one of her claims about topic management
Men will often reject a topic of conversation introduced by women while women will accept the topics introduced by men
17 of 36
Name another
Men discuss ‘male’ topics e.g. business, sport, politics, economics
18 of 36
And another
Women are more likely to initiate conversation than men, but less likely to make the conversation succeed
19 of 36
In her book, how does she describe the differences between male and female speech?
“One of the chief reasons that girls and boys develop different styles of talk is that the all‑girls and all‑boys groups to which they belong interact in vastly different ways”
20 of 36
What does she argue that women do in their speech?
to create and maintain relationships of closeness and equality; to criticise others in acceptable ways; to interpret accurately the speech of other girls
21 of 36
What does she argue that men do in their speech?
to assert a position of dominance; to attract and maintain an audience; to assert themselves when another speaker has the floor
22 of 36
Who argues for the Difference Model?
Professor Deborah Tannen
23 of 36
What are 6 different approaches?
Status vs. support; Independence vs. intimacy; Advice vs. understanding; Information vs. feelings; Orders vs. proposals; Conflict vs. compromise
24 of 36
Describe Status vs. support
Men grow up in a world in which conversation is competitive - they seek to achieve the upper hand or to prevent others from dominating them. For women, however, talking is often a way to gain confirmation and support for their ideas.
25 of 36
Describe Independence vs. intimacy
Women often think in terms of closeness and support, and struggle to preserve intimacy. Men, concerned with status, tend to focus more on independence.
26 of 36
Describe Advice vs. understanding
“When my mother tells my father she doesn't feel well, he invariably offers to take her to the doctor. Invariably, she is disappointed with his reaction. Like many men, he is focused on what he can do, whereas she wants sympathy.”
27 of 36
Describe Information vs. feelings
Men give information whereas women find it hard to talk about their feelings and emotions. Giving of information and conciseness of speech are considered of less value than sharing of emotions and elaboration.
28 of 36
Describe Orders vs. proposals
Women often suggest that people do things in indirect ways - “let's”, “why don't we?” or “wouldn't it be good, if we...?” Men may use, and prefer to hear, a direct imperative.
29 of 36
Describe Conflict vs. compromise
most men will resist to decisions or ideas, while women will compromise, but complain subsequently.
30 of 36
Who argues the Dominance Model?
Pamela Fishman
31 of 36
What does she argue?
Pamela Fishman argues in Interaction: the Work Women Do (1983) that conversation between the sexes sometimes fails, not because of anything natural in the way women talk, but because of how men respond, or don't respond.
32 of 36
What is one of her most memorable phrases?
Her very memorable phrase for the work that women do to keep a conversation going is ‘conversational shitwork’ (1977)
33 of 36
What does she do in her book Conversational Insecurity?
In Conversational Insecurity (1990) Fishman questions Robin Lakoff's theories. Lakoff suggests that asking questions shows women's insecurity and hesitancy in communication.
34 of 36
What does Fishman look in to?
Fishman looks at questions as an attribute of interactions: Women ask questions because of the power of these, not because of their personality weaknesses.
35 of 36
Any other claims that she makes?
Fishman, also claims that in mixed-sex language interactions, men speak on average for twice as long as women.
36 of 36

Other cards in this set

Card 2


How did Lakoff describe male speech in comparison to female speech?


Lakoff describes male language as stronger, more prestigious and more desirable.

Card 3


How many claims did Lakoff make about speech in the deficit model?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Can you name the 12 claims?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


An example(s) of hedging.


Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Language resources:

See all English Language resources »See all Language and gender resources »