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Language and Gender
Terms in this set (77)
What is language a part of?
Refers to the biological differences between men and women
Refers to the social and cultural expectations of the ways men and women behave, dress etc and, of course, use language. These ideas inevitably inform the way men and women are represented through language
What are the three language models?
Deficit model, dominance model and difference model
How did early work on language tend to represent women's language?
Different to and inferior to men's
What did Otto Jespersen argue in 1922?
Male language forms were the norm and the language of others was deficient
Where did Lakoff present her ideas in 1975
Language and Women's Place
What did Robin Lakoff base her work on?
Impressions and observation rather than statistical evidence
What did Lakoff propose a set of?
A set of features that characterised women's language as deficient when compared to men's
What language did Robin Lakoff use to describe women's language? What did this suggest?
Pejorative language which suggested that women were weaker and less powerful
What did Lakoff's feature of women using more tag questions suggest?
That women seek confirmation/permission because they lack confidence
What did Lakoff's feature of women using hedges suggest?
That it makes women sound weaker because it adds uncertainty
What idea did the dominance model centre around?
The idea that language variation is more about our role or our position in society than our gender, and traditionally men have held more dominant roles
What did O'Barr and Atkin's courtroom study suggest?
Language differs based on situation and situation specific authority. It's about power and status, not gender
In relation to the dominance model, what did Lakoff say?
Women are socially insecure and their language reflects that
In relation to the dominance model, what did Dale Spender say?
It is the men, not women, who control language
What did Zimmerman and West find?
96% of interruptions were made by males. Their dominance in conversation mirrors their dominance in society
What did Pamela Fishman's work look at?
The way she thought verbal interaction helped construct and maintain hierarchical relations between men and women
How many hours of conversation between young U.S couples did Fishman look at?
Fisheman arrived at different conclusions to who?
Lakoff observed that women asked more questions than men which she suggested was an indication of insecurity. What did Fishman suggest?
They were use as a means of expressing thoughts and opinion and more as a tool of interaction- using them strengthened the possibility of a response
What did Fishman notice about monitoring features?
They were used 5 times more by women and were used not to hedge an utterance but as a means on commanding a response
What did Fishman note about minimal responses?
Male and females both used these but in different ways. Women tended to use them in support work as a way to demonstrate active listening. Male usage seems to discourage interaction and indicate a lack of interest.
What did Fishman note about making statements?
Men produced over twice as many statements as women, and nearly always got a response to them whereas women did not
What did Fishman look at in terms of topic initiation?
What happened when men and women tried to introduce new topics in conversation
Why did Fishman suggest that male topics succeeded?
Because women upheld their part in conversation: they responded and built on utterances in a way that males did not
What did Fishman conclude?
An unequal distribution of work in conversation. Females do the support work and active maintenance to keep conversation going. She suggested that such language was linked to gender identity
What did Fishman hypothesise?
Women who successfully control and manage conversation could be perceived as abnormal, domineering or aggressive
Summarise the difference model?
That men and women belong to different sub-cultures, who because they are socialised differently have different ways of communicating
Around which era did research move away from the idea of dominance to the idea that men and women simply use language differently?
What was Deborah Tannen's work?
What were Deborah Tannen's six contrasts?
Status vs Support
Independence vs Intimacy
Information vs Feeling
Conflict vs Compromise
Orders vs Proposals
Advice vs Understanding
What is Deborah Tannen's distinction of information and feeling also described as?
Report talk vs Rapport talk
What is report talk based on?
Power and status
What is rapport talk based on?
Alignment and solidarity
In terms of support, how do women see the world?
As a network of connections seeking support and consensus
What were some reasons for differences, noted by Tannen?
Men traditionally talk about work and sport (factual information and status is important).
Women are traditionally focused on home and family (emotions, support and compassion are important).
What did Beattie say in 1982 in response to Zimmerman and West?
Interruptions can be supportive and show that a person is listening
What does more recent research focus on?
Language and Identity
What did Deborah Cameron focus on in 2008?
How speakers construct and perform gendered identities for themselves. Gender is something we do as a deliberate projection of identity
What did Judith Butler suggest in 1990?
Gender is performative i.e. we play a role in consolidating an impression of being male or female
What did Hyde propose in 2005?
Gender similarities hypothesis claiming that there are substantially more similarities than differences in language use and where there are differences these may be due to other variables
What did Janet Holmes say in 1984?
Women's language doesn't show weakness, but a desire to co-operate
What did Cameron say in 2007? 2 things
Situation affects how people speak much more than gender.
Argues that a lot of research is biased because there has been more focus on differences, which are actually quite small, rather than the similarities
What does new thinking bring us closer to?
Communities of practice
What is a community of practice?
An aggregate of people who come together around a mutual engagement in some common endeavour
Theorists associated with communities of practice? Year
Eckert and McConnell Ginet- 2005
How do communities of practice explain gender?
Men and women tend to exist in gender specific communities of practice.
The types of communities of practice we have access to lead to context specific social identity.
If our community of practice is gendered, our identity in that community of practice will be too, as will the language we use.
Previously, language was seen as the result of gender. Now it's seen as...
...constructing our gender
Who carried out the Jocks and the Burn-outs study?What year?
What research method did Eckert use for the Jocks and the Burn-outs study?
What was the outcome of Eckert's study?
Shared social practices more influential than social status
What is a social practice?
It is what we share when we, as speakers, engage in an activity together
How did Eckert define groups in terms of the social practices the speakers engaged in?
Observing friendship groups in a school in Detroit
What were the two groups Eckert looked at?
The Jocks and the Burn-outs each containing individuals with a mix of social class
Who were the Jocks?
Group in the school who actively engaged in and enjoyed school life
Who were the Burn-outs?
Group who chose not to become involved and interactive with the goings-on of the school and engaging in rebellious behavior
What did Eckert find?
People tend to speak more like their friends- who shared social practices together- than others belonging in the same demographic category as them i.e. social class
What must you include in your essay?
Real data analysis
What did Jane Pilkington find in 1992?
Women in same sex talk were more collaborative than men were in all male talk. Women aimed more positive politeness strategies. Men tended to be less complementary and supportive in all-male talk.
What the phenomenon in 2014?
What is vocal fry?
Low, creaky vibration caused by fluttering of the vocal chords
How has vocal fry been described?
A quirk,trend, epidemic
Why do young females use vocal fry?
To mimic male power to increase attractiveness
What did Jenny Cheshire find in her study in 1982? What did she conclude from it?
Boys use more non-standard grammatical forms. Covert prestige-rebellious and independent
What did Peter Trudgill find in 1983?
Women use RP more because it is a more prestigious accent- overt prestige
Why do women use accents from a higher social class?
Society expects higher standards from women. They use it to overcome their feeling of inferiority
Why do men use non-standard language?
They already have a higher social status. Non standard forms are associated with working class males who have masculine qualities
What did Koenraad Kuiper find in 1991?
In all male talk amongst members of a rugby team, men were less likely to pay attention to the need to save face
What did Deborah Tannen attempt to example in 1990?
Male-female miscommunication by claiming that male-female speech was "cross-cultural communication"
What can I say in introduction about Lakoff and Spender theory?
Outdated and untrustworthy
What can I say about my thoughts in response to deficit model?
We cannot be sure of any legitimacy as
Lakoff's findings have no proof of evidence
Much of the dominance theory is old and since then what has been diminished?
The gap between men and women in society
What is your opinion on the contrasts?
Where the contrasts appear, other variables need to considered as the difference does not lie between gender but other variables such as age, mood, topic, relationship between speaker etc
What has recent research moved towards the idea of?
Language and identity
What can be said about Hyde's theory?
More logical and realistic than previous anecdotal evidence
What does CofP's back up the idea of?
There are no set differences between the language of male and females, by that it is dependent upon the situation
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