Language and Gender

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  • Created by: Lettie
  • Created on: 01-05-14 15:32
Deficit Model
Sees women's language as less socially useful than men's
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Jespersen
Was a pre-feminist who relied on "folk linguistics". She never did objective research, just used literature but ignored restrictions of education and employment. She found that women use "and" a lot as it is more emotional.
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Jespersen Continued
She also found that women hve less vocabulary than men and women use too many adverbs/hyperboles. She wrote that male language is considered the norm which put pressures onto women to change their language so it was more like males.
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Lakoff (1975)
She was criticised for supporting the work of Jespersen and again she did no actual research - she did personal observations which means her research lacks validity. She found that women use more intensifiers, superpolite terms and tag questions.
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Lakoff Continued
This showed a lack of authority and reflected the woman's subordiate role in society. However, her findings are less relevant today as further research has shown that some features are context dependent.
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Dominance Model
Assumes that men are more likely to interrupt than women in mixed sets
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O'barr and Atkins (1980)
Studied Lakoff's hypothesis in a courtroom context and studied 10 of the features she found. They listened to witnesses speeches for 6 months (high ecological/population validity). Their findings challenged Lakoff as they studied context.
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O'barr and Atkins Continued
Previous courtroom experience also had an influence and they found that different social contexts where women were more/less weak. Research is now outdated as women's position in society has changed even though this focussed on context/authority.
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Zimmerman and West
Studied turn taking in coffee shops (students - California) with 20 same sex and 11 mixed sex pairs = uneven sample = bias results. Also, lacks population validity as it was small scale and most ppts were middle class and under 35.
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Zimmerman and West Continued
Found in 11 convos 46 male/2 female interruptions so concluded that women had less dominance = less confident so stop talking. May be outdated (societal changes) as was carried out 40 years ago.
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Fishman
Focussed on ways males/females interacted and found that convos fail if men don't respond so women have to "work" to maintain it. Studied 3 White, MC, USA, heterosexual couples (born 1950's) = lack of pop validity so isn't representative.
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Fishman Continued
4 main features: Questions, minimal responses, attention getters and topic initiation. She concludes that women had low status in conversations; men were encouraging/sustained conversation. Speech styles may be outdated today.
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Difference Model
Assumes different cultures socialised into males and females from children.
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Holmes
Supported Lakoff's findings on tag questions used more by women. Found 2 types: Referential & Affective (facilitative/softening). Also complimenting. Ppts = New Zealand & found 484 compliments: F-F = 250/M-M = 50/M-F = 125/F-M = 80.
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Holmes Continued
This shows how the genders view compliments: males may find them face-threatening. Females complimented on appearance/Males complimented on possessions. Can't be generalised as only studied people in NZ = lack pop validity.
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Coates (1986)
Studied characteristics of M/F language. F = cooperative and M = competitive. Looked at gossip in all female groups, found subcultural differences, not dominant/subordinate relationship. Researched over 9 months with White, MC ppts.
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Coates Continued
Found that men were socialised into public discourse and women socialised into private discourse. Examples of techniques F used to show cooperativeness = topic development, minimal responses, simultaneous speech and modality. Lacks pop validity
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Coates Continued
Doesn't account for age, region or relationship, however is more up to date than Lakoff as it was in 1986. Assumes there is a difference in how they're socialised to speak and purpose of their language.
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Maltz and Borker
Cultural approach to M/F miscommunication, e.g. use of minimal responses for F to show active listening, but for M show agreement. SEPERATE WORLD HYPOTHESIS. Genders learnt rules of their lang between age 5-15; start socialise with others same age/G
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Maltz and Borker Continued
Showed that girls language was collaborative - normally socialised in small groups (2's/3's) & boys lang was hierarchal in larger groups with an importance of status.
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Tannen (2007)
Focussed on M/F have different communicative competences (different styles of = status). Many criticise as they say it is too general to be useful and doesn't account for age, class or context effects. Found that there were early gender differences.
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Tannen Continued
These were also cross-cultural, e.g. best friends who're serious/intimate with eachother. M frequently change topic, but F could talk for 20 mins about the same thing comfortably. High val = representable today BUT didn't control variables.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Was a pre-feminist who relied on "folk linguistics". She never did objective research, just used literature but ignored restrictions of education and employment. She found that women use "and" a lot as it is more emotional.

Back

Jespersen

Card 3

Front

She also found that women hve less vocabulary than men and women use too many adverbs/hyperboles. She wrote that male language is considered the norm which put pressures onto women to change their language so it was more like males.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

She was criticised for supporting the work of Jespersen and again she did no actual research - she did personal observations which means her research lacks validity. She found that women use more intensifiers, superpolite terms and tag questions.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

This showed a lack of authority and reflected the woman's subordiate role in society. However, her findings are less relevant today as further research has shown that some features are context dependent.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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