Language and Gender Theorist

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Anne Bodine - 1975
This seems to show that there is a bias in the English language in favour of males. this is known as Androcentric Language. When male language is the norm is is known as the False generic
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Lexical Asymmetry
Terms of address for males have kept their positive meaning and connotations over time, whereas women’s terms of address tend to warp to have negative connotations.
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Muriel Shulz (1975) -
The imbalance of words is not an accident .There is a reason for more negative words towards women. It represents a patriarchal order in which men are on top .Words marked for females become pejorated
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Julia Stanley (1977)
Men have mores names, the majority of which are positive .Women have 220 sexually negative words and men have 20. Majority of negative words towards women have sexually overtone
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The Deficit Model- Otto Jeperson (1922)
Men are the inventors of language. Women are too delicate,easily offended and oblique, If we adopt women's language, then it will become languid. Women are too conservative and don't like change.
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The Dominance theory (Spender, Zimmerman and West)-
Men seek to dominate women in conversation, by interrupting and talking more .Women allow this because of the patriarchal culture we live in .In 1975 a study was undertaken by Zimmermen and West, saying that men interrupt women more in conversation
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Status vs Support-
men see language as a means of asserting dominance; women see it as a way of confirming/supporting ideas.
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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.
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Advice vs. understanding
Deborah Tannen claims that , to many men a complaint is a challenge to find a solution. Women seek sympathy
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Information vs. feelings
males are concerned with the facts; women with emotions.
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Orders vs Proposals-
Women suggests that people do things in indirect ways (‘Why don’t we?’) .Men may use, and prefer to hear, a direct imperative.
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Conflict vs Compromise-
.Women refuse to oppose the will of others openly. Sometimes it’s far more effective for a women to assert herself, even at the risk of conflict Men will often resist it vocally, while women may appear to accede, but complain subsequently
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Fishman (1990)-
Found that the average amount of time for a man to speak in a mixed sex conversation is approximately twice that of a women.
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Fishman (1990) Cooperative vs Competitive - Women
Women will : Ask more questions ,Give supportive feedback ,Pay more compliments, Initiate topics ,Bring others into the conversation, Use inclusive terms more e.g 'we' Develop ideas from the previous speaker
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Fishman (1990) Cooperative vs Competitive - Men
Men will : Interrupt more. Are more willing to express disagreement .Ignore other person’s utterances ,Show reluctance to pursue topics initiated by others.
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Zimmerman and West (1975)- Interruptions
They taped informal conversations between students in cafes, bars and shops .In same sex conversations interruptions were fairly evenly split between the two subjects .However in mixed sex conversations 96% of interruptions came from men.
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Spender (Male as Norm Theory- 1980s)-
The reason men interrupt more is because society views male as the norm .Her argument is that language reinforces societal view (Sapir-Whorf hypothesis) e.g woMAN, HIStory
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Lakoff’s Theory- Colour
Women make more precise discriminations in naming colours than do men - that women use more hypernyms such as lavender, mauve etc for purple
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Lakoff’s Theory- 'Lady Like'
Lakoff suggested that girls are socialised into ‘talking like a lady’. She stated that if a little girl ‘talks rough’ like a boy, she will be ostracised or made fun of.
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Lakoff’s Theory- Genderlect
the suggestion that men and women have different areas of lexical expertise. Men may have lexical expertise in sport for example, whilst women may have a lexical expertise in clothing.
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Lakoff’s Theory-Women's Euphanisms
She stated that women are more likely to use euphemisms and ‘weaker’ expletives such as ‘fudge’ and ‘oh dear’.
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Lakoff’s Theory- Empty adjectives
Lakoff stated that there are a group of ‘empty’ adjectives which are used by women in particular, such as ‘lovely’, ‘adorable’ and ‘divine
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Lakoff’s Theory- Super Polite Forms
Lakoff also felt that women used super polite forms such as modal auxiliaries i.e. use interrogatives instead of imperatives such as ‘could you’, ‘would you mind’, ‘I’d appreciate if’ and ‘if you don’t mind’.
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Lakoff’s Theory- Tag Questions
Lakoff commented on women’s use of tag questions, she said that women used them to seek the opinion of the address, due to a reluctance to commit themselves to a particular viewpoint e.g ‘Sheila likes pies’....’Does she?’
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Lakoff’s Theory- Limitations of the Theory
However Lakoff’s observations are based on her language and the language of her (white middle class) friends and the media Lakoff had never based her claims on any empirical evidence, her work assumed that men's language would always be superior
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Terms of address for males have kept their positive meaning and connotations over time, whereas women’s terms of address tend to warp to have negative connotations.

Back

Lexical Asymmetry

Card 3

Front

The imbalance of words is not an accident .There is a reason for more negative words towards women. It represents a patriarchal order in which men are on top .Words marked for females become pejorated

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Men have mores names, the majority of which are positive .Women have 220 sexually negative words and men have 20. Majority of negative words towards women have sexually overtone

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Men are the inventors of language. Women are too delicate,easily offended and oblique, If we adopt women's language, then it will become languid. Women are too conservative and don't like change.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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