Language and Gender

Who put forward the Deficit Model?
Robin Lakoff
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What is the Deficit Model?
Claims women language is less assertive than mens and lacks authority
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Name some features of women's language from the Deficit Model.
Empty adjectives. Hedges. Tag questions. Indirect questions/commands/requests. Intensifiers. Polite euphemisms. Hyper-correct grammar. Swear less. Lack a sense of humour.
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Name a criticism of the Deficit Model.
Not based on research - based on gender stereotypes. Old fashioned.
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Who put forward the Difference Model?
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What is the Difference Model?
Men and women speak differently because they form 2 different communities of practice and aim to achieve different goals
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Name the 6 contrasts in men and women's language use from the Difference Model.
Status vs Support. Independence vs Intimacy. Advice vs Understanding. Information vs Feelings. Order vs Proposals. Conflict vs Compromise.
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What was the conclusion of the Difference Model?
The contrasts lead to miscommunication - men and women get offended by each other trying to achieve different goals
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Who put forward the Dominance Model?
Zimmerman and West
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What is the Dominance Model?
Men are dominant in opposite sex conversations
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What did they find from the Dominance Model?
Recorded mixed sex conversations and found men interrupt 96% of the time. Found men interrupt more in mixed sex conversations.
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What was Jennifer Coates theory?
Conversational behaviour is different. Men will reject conversations introduced by women. Women are likely to initiate the conversation but less likely to make it succeed.
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What was Pamela Fishman's theory?
In mixed sex conversations, men speak for twice as long as women. Mixed sex conversations often fail because of how men respond/don't respond.
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Why does Pamela Fishman disagree with Robin Lakoff?
She says it's not women's fault that their speech seems deficit - it is men's fault for being dominant. Lakoff suggests women ask questions because they are insecure - Fisherman suggests they ask questions to draw others out.
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Who put forward the Diversity Model?
Deborah Cameron
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What is the Diversity Model?
Language differences between men and women are diverse and not easily reduced to gender itself. Context defines language use, not gender itself.
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What was O'barr and Atkins study?
Studied language in the courtroom and found female lawyers are assertive and interrupt, and witnesses of both sexes would use Lakoff's 'weak female language'
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What was concluded by O'barr and Atkins study?
Weak language traits were actually 'powerless language' rather than 'female language' - differences in social situations
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What was Judith Butler's theory?
Gender is a performance and performances change depending on the context. A persons perception of 'masculinity' depends on how they behave.
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What was Dale Spender's theory?
He argues that the English Language has an inherit gender bias. He is the only theorist that looks at the language to describe men and women.
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Gendered pronouns
Choice of pronoun can convey a sense that the speaker feels the gender is important and has influence on the conversation (he/she)
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Marked terms
Unmarked - lion, chairman. Marked - lioness, chairwoman.
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Terms of address
The names we choose to address people of different genders are indicative of value judgements
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Taboo lexis
Women swear less (Lakoff)
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Phatic language
Polite language. 'Women use more phatic language' - Lakoff.
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Gendered description
E.g. when reporting people do it in a gendered way
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Asymmetrical power relationship
A relationship where one person has more power than the other
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Term suggesting that masculine and feminine styles of discourse are best viewed as 2 distinct cultural dialects
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Minimal response
A reduced verbal or non-verbal response
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Generic terms
Traditional male terms used to refer to both males and females
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Affectionate terms that are patronising in some contexts e.g. dear, love
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Terms that make women look smaller and belittle them e.g. doll, baby
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is the Deficit Model?


Claims women language is less assertive than mens and lacks authority

Card 3


Name some features of women's language from the Deficit Model.


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Name a criticism of the Deficit Model.


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Who put forward the Difference Model?


Preview of the front of card 5
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