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Presentation on theme: "GENDERED COMMUNICATION PRACTICES"— Presentation transcript:

“Communication between men and women can be like cross cultural communication, prey to a clash of conversational styles” Deborah Tannen (1990)

2 WOMEN’S SPEECH For Most Women Communication is:
to establish and maintain relationships conversation is for sharing and learning about others Talk is the essence of relationships

3 EQUALITY Equality between people is generally important
try and achieve symmetry often match experiences “you’re not alone in how you feel “I’ve done the same thing many times” respond and build on each other’s ideas Rather than “you-tell-your-idea-then-I’ll-tell-mine,” voices weave together to create conversations. EQUALITY

4 SHOWING SUPPORT Often express understanding & Sympathy
“Oh, you must feel terrible” “I think you did the right thing” “I really hear what you are saying”

5 RELATIONSHIP LEVEL Focus on feelings
Focus on relationship between communicators rather than content often probe to understand feelings “Tell me about what happened?” “How did you feel when it occurred?” “Do you think it was deliberate?” Content is dealt with but also feelings involved.

Women’s style is conversational maintenance work efforts to sustain talk often initiate topics for others “How was your day” “Tell me about your meeting” “Did anything interesting happen on your trip”

7 INCLUSIVITY RESPONSIVENESS usually respond in some fashion
verbally and nonverbally more engaged make other feel valued and included

Typical of women's conversation are personal disclosures details anecdotes concrete reasoning

9 TENTATIVENESS Verbal Hedges Qualifiers
“I kind of feel you may be overreacting” Qualifiers “I’m not the best judge of this, but...” Keep Talk Provisional, Tag questions that invite response “That was a pretty good movie, wasn’t it?” “We should get out this weekend, don’t you think?”

10 MEN’S SPEECH Goal of talk is exerting control, preserving independence, and enhancing status. Conversation is the arena for proving oneself & negotiating prestige.

11 Men’s Speech General Tendencies
Use talk to establish and defend personal status and ideas When comforting, they do so by respecting others independence and avoiding condescending

Avoid disclosing personal information that might appear weak or vulnerable e.g., someone expresses concern about a relationship with a boyfriend “The way you should handle that is...” “Don’t let him get to you.” “You ought to tell him....”

13 ADVICE Tendency to give ADVICE
Instrumental - not feeling, but rather what you should do Superiority - Maintain control Men see as “give and take,” Women as lack of concern

14 INSTRUMENTALITY Instrumentality - The use of talk to accomplish instrumental objectives Men socialized to do things, achieve goals In talk this is expressed as problem-solving, getting information, facts, suggesting solutions This focus on content works between men Show support in ways learned to do so - solve the problem.

Men tend to dominate conversations - talk more than women Talk more frequently For longer duration Select topic of talk Interrupt more Men interrupt to control conversation Women interrupt to show interest, affirm

Language tends to forceful, direct, authoritative Less use of hedges and disclaimers

17 ABSTRACT TALK Speak in general terms Fewer concrete experiences
More distanced from personal feelings Works best in Public situation where theoretical & conceptual, talk is appropriate

18 LESS RESPONSIVE More “minimal response cues”
Less sympathy and self-disclosure Sympathy seen as sign of condescension Personal problems seen as vulnerability

19 Talking about Troubles
Woman disappointed in not getting job Man says, “You shouldn’t feel bad. Lots of people don’t get jobs they want” She thinks, he belittles her experience He thinks, he is showing respect by bolstering her independence

20 Talking about Troubles, Cont.
Man disappointed is not getting job Woman says, “Are you okay” What’s bothering you?” He thinks this points out his vulnerability She probes to show she cares

21 RELATIONSHIP TALK WOMEN It’s going fine if there is talk
Talk is a process to sustain relationship Talk is a way to show closeness “We need to talk,” to affirm our caring MEN It’s going fine if there is no need to talk Talk is to solve problems Talk indicate a problem Duck when she say, “we need to talk”

22 GENDER QUESTIONNAIRE Men talk more than women. T/F T
Men are more likely to interrupt women than they are to interrupt other men. Women tend to confront problems more directly and are likely to bring up the problem first.

23 Questionnaire, cont. During conversation men spend more time looking at their partner than women do. F Women are more alert to nonverbal cues than men are. T Groups that use the male style of sticking to the task get more work done. In general men and women talk about the same things. Women use less personal space than men do. When a man speaks, he is listened to more carefully than a woman, even if the presentation is identical.

24 Questionnaire, cont. In general women speak in a more tentative style than men do. T Women are more likely than men to disclose personal information. In general men smile more often than women. F Women are more likely than men to answer questions that are not addressed to them. Women and men are equally emotional when they speak. Men appreciate jokes more than women.

25 Based on Julia Wood’s book Gendered Lives
THE END Based on Julia Wood’s book Gendered Lives


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