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San José State University Linguistics and Language Development Spring 2013 Linguistics 122: English as a Global Language Language and Gender Readings:

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Presentation on theme: "San José State University Linguistics and Language Development Spring 2013 Linguistics 122: English as a Global Language Language and Gender Readings:"— Presentation transcript:

1 San José State University Linguistics and Language Development Spring 2013 Linguistics 122: English as a Global Language Language and Gender Readings: Bucholtz, Language, gender, and sexuality Holmes, Women Talk Too Much

2 The Power of Talk: Who gets heard and why? In the film He Said, She Said, Deborah Tannen shows gender differences in the ways we are socialized as children affects our conversational styles as adults. What is conversational ritual and what rituals are discussed? What are some conversational differences between men & women mentioned in the film. Does your behavior correspond to Tannens observations? How about your significant others?

3 Language, Gender, Sexuality In her article, Bucholtz outlines the development of the field(s) of research on language, gender, and sexuality In the process, she criticizes Tannens work as exemplified in the film He Said, She Said.

4 Language, Gender, Sexuality – The early years Outgrowth of the Womens Movement (1970s) (English) language seen as sexist sexist vocabulary (e.g., mailman, etc.) He as an epicene pronoun Debate between prescriptivists & descriptivists Womens Language seen as manifestation of suppression

5 Difference vs. Dominance – The late 1970s-1980s Celebration of Womens Language as womens own separate, cultural practice Limitations: Assumed that All women adhered to the same practices Social behaviors of men and women are entirely different Discounted the role of male dominance in interaction

6 Multicultural Feminism – The late 80s, 1990s Recognized that women of color didnt adhere to Womens Language Black womens signifying as private practice, as opposed to mens signifying as public ritual Mexican American women follow men in code- switching Puerto Rican womens linguistic repertoire different from mens Interactional styles not specific to a particular gender, but to activities of speakers

7 Language and Sexuality – The late 90s, 21 st C. Do lesbians and gay men each have a recognizably distinctive speech style? Just as the threat of danger led to the development of a counterlanguage among African American, a similar indirect speech style has developed in which lesbians and gay men can identify themselves to one another without making themselves vulnerable. Gay implicature – traditional theories of gender-based dominance must be revised to account for men whose identities place them outside the dominant group.

8 Language and identity – A product of speaker agency The ability to use language strategically to achieve goals despite constraints of cultural ideologies. Agency as practice – use of language (and other social practices) to index oneself as belonging to a social category As preppy, burnout, jock, etc. Agency as performance – deliberate enactment of an identity that may not conform to the identity assigned to the performer by others Black drag queens use of white womens language

9 Women Talk Too Much

10 Proverbs and Sayings Nothing is unnatural as a talkative man or a quiet woman -Scottish Where there are women and geese theres noise -Japanese The Tongue is the sword of a woman and she never lets it become rusty

11 The Question Presented Do Women talk too much?

12 The Evidence Deborah James and Janice Drakich reviewed 63 studies and found that when men and women are together, it is the men that talk the most. Research in New Zealand also found that men tend to speak more than women.

13 The Evidence Another study explored women and men in power and found that the men often patronized the women and tended to dominate meetings What Anne is trying to say is…

14 The Evidence Research shows that the patterns begin early and are seen in the classroom setting. Concludes that the stereotype of a woman reflects sexist prejudice rather than objective reality

15 Looking Closer at the Purpose of Talk Talk serves different functions in different contexts

16 Formal Public Talk Aimed at informing people or persuading them to agree to a particular point of view Often spoken by people who wish to confirm or claim some degree of public status Examples: politicians, public performers

17 Behavior in Formal Meetings Research shows men dominate talking time in committee meetings, staff meetings, seminars, and task oriented decision making groups Men perceive participating in such contexts as an activity that enhances their status, and men seem more concerned with asserting status and power.

18 Behavior in Private Contexts Fewer differences between men and women in talk time Women are more willing to talk in a relaxed social setting and tend to be more agreeing and supportive and encourages others to speak Men contribute more information and opinions

19 Social Confidence If you know more about a particular topic, you are generally more likely to contribute more to the discussion then someone who is not as familiar

20 Social Confidence A study compared the relative talk time between spouses Men dominated in couples with traditional gender roles Women tended to speak more if they were associated with a feminist organization because they were more likely to challenge traditional gender roles

21 Social Confidence Concludes that expert status and feminist philosophy play a role in social confidence and talk time.

22 Perceptions and Implications Why do boys contribute more than girls in classroom discussions? Talking in class is perceived as showing off and girls prefer to keep a low profile

23 Perceptions and Implications If women talk at all, this may be perceived as too much by men who prefer them to be silent

24 Do women talk more than men? Depends on the social context in which the talk is taking place, the kind of talk involved, the relative social confidence of the speakers, social and gender roles, and their familiarity of the topic.

25 Conclusions Generally men talk more than women in formal ad public contexts where informative and persuasive talk is highly valued Generally women are more likely to contribute in private, informal interactions

26 Question 1: True of False Q: women generally talk more in formal, public context where informative and persuasive talk is highly valued? A: False: women are more likely to contribute in private, informal interactions, where talk more often functions to maintain relationships.

27 Q: Women tend to talk more with close friends and family, when women are in the majority, and also when they are explicitly invited to talk Question 2: True of False A: True

28 Question 3: True of False Q: women are more likely to ask questions and make comments when the topic was one they find challenging and are uncertain of? A: False: they are most willing when they can claim expert knowledge about the subject.

29 Question 4: chose the correct answer Q: Why do girls in school tend to contribute less than boys? A) Talking in class is perceived as showing off B) They are uninterested in the material C) Girls think that speaking up in class attracts negative attention Answer: A and C

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