Language and Gender Theorists
Terms in this set (17)
Robin Lakoff (1975) - The Deficit Model
Lakoff's study found that males and females have different ways of communicating.
Trends of male spoken language include:
- A more direct style
- More interruptions
- More taboo language
Trends of female language include:
- More hedges
- More tag questions
- More empathic language
- hypercorrect grammar and punctuation
Lakoff argued that women tend to use linguistic forms that reflect and reinforce a subordinate role in society.
Robin Lakoff (1975) - Socialisation Quote
Lakoff belived that male and female language traits are conditioned from an early age:
"If a little girl 'talks rough' like a boy, she will be ostracised, scolded or made fun of"
Jane Mills (1991)
Sees feminine styles of speech as a mechanism of social control. This means that women try to be 'nice' and 'ladylike' and carefully monitor their behaviour to ensure it is appropriate. Also coined the term 'semantic derogation' otherwise known as 'lexical asymmetry' (Dale Spender). This is the idea that words for men have positive connotation whilst words for women have negative ones.
Dale spender (1985)
Adjectives that describe women are pejorative, many words for women have assumed negative connotations or are far more sexualised than the lexically equivalent words more men. This is known as lexical asymmetry. She states that 'it is especially difficult to challenge this power system.'
Zimmerman and West (1975) - The Dominance Model
Men are more likely to interrupt than females in conversation.
They reported that in 11 mixed sex conversations, men used 46 interruptions, but women only 2.
O'barr and Atkins (1980)
Studied 'witnesses' in courtroom cases for 30 months, analysing the use of speech differences between men and women proposed by Lakoff.
They found that the differences in language were not necessarily the result of being a woman, but of being 'powerless.' They found more differences in speech patterns depending on an individual's position in the courtroom. (Language and Power/ Language Hierarchy).
Deborah Tannen (1984) - The Difference Model
Outlined 6 distinctions to describe the differences between male and female language:
Status vs. Support
Independence vs. Intimacy
Advice vs. Understanding
Information vs. Feelings
Orders vs. proposals
Conflict vs. compromise
Jennifer Coates (1989) - The Difference Model
looked at female conversation
house talk - exchange of information
scandal - judging of others
Bitching - overt expression of women's anger at their women
chatting - most intimate form of gossip
Peter Trudgill (1974)
Women are more likely to use overt prestige (RP) and men are more likely to use covert prestige (Regional Accent).
Janet Hyde (2005) - The Diversity Model
The Diversity Model is considered the most modern approach in terms of gender. Janet Hyde refers to her research as 'The Gender Similarities Hypothesis.'
-Males and females are more alike than not, with personality cognitive ability and leadership
- Only difference is the context that they are measured in
'Males and females are similar on most, but not all, psychological variables'
There are 200 sexually promiscuous words for women and 20 for men. They are mostly negative for females.
- Women occupy negative semantic space due to marked forms (lady doctor, female surgeon)
Deborah Cameron (2008)
Marking and tautology
m- Identifying and item as different from the normal (Family man)
T- Producing redundancy in meaning by saying the same thing twice (family woman)
Men have a natural desire to be competitive which results in a more competitive speech style. Cameron agrees with Tannen - women talk about people, relationships and feelings.
Jane Pilkington (1992)
Women in same sex talk are collaborative. Men are less supportive and complimentary. (Go women use positive politeness strategy)
Koenraad Kuiper (1991)
Men pay less regard to save face.
Insults to express solidarity
Sir Thomas Wilson (1553)
Wilson was a famous grammarian of this time. He believed that the male name should precede the female name in all speech and writing. This was published in 'The Art of Rhetorique), informing people how to behave.
Julia Stanley (1990)
Exclusion of women in language - classifies negatively due to male dominance.
Suffix "ess" (waitress, actress) is added to words as women are an exception, they are not considered the norm in the working world.
Horn + Kleinder (2000)
"man" was not gender specific to begin with. "Mann" was gender neutral. Only later acquired a gender specific meaning.
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