2 Zimmerman and WestZimmerman and West created the Dominance and Different theory. In the following slides, we will show that some parts of their theory is true, and some is false.
3 Women gossip, men ‘talk shop’ There is a widespread belief that women talk more than men, yet research findings consistently contradict this. Men have been shown to talk more than women in a settings.When asked to describe three pictures, male subjects took on average minutes per picture compared with 3.17 minutes for female subjects (Swacker 1975).
4 Women are more ready to let other speakers into the conversation or to allow another speaker to dominate the discussion.Women send out and look for signs of agreement and link what they say to the speech of others. They are careful to respect each other's turns in speaking and tend to apologise for talking too much.Women are generally co-operative and non-competitive.
5 A study of children at play in a Philadelphia street (Goodwin: 1980; 1988; 1990) found that girls tended to use mitigated directives, i.e. when they wanted to get the group to do something they used suggestion rather than a direct command.However, this study was created in 1990; times have changed since then, and women have more rights and are more out-spoken.
6 So what does this tell us? This information tells us that Zimmerman and West’s subjects were of the norm as men were more dominant and women are seen as the weaker sex; from when they are young girls, they hesitate to make demands and instead make suggestions. The researchers all create their theories after Z&W’s, and their research mostly agrees with Z&W.
7 MenBoys tend to have more hierarchically organised groups than girls and speech is often used to assert dominance. Goodwin's study found that boys used aggravated, or explicit directives to get what they wanted, e.g. 'Get off', 'Gimine', 'I want'. This type of command establishes status differences.
8 Men tend to jump from topic to topic, vying to tell anecdotes about their achievements. They rarely talk about their feelings or their personal problems.This is because men are ‘men’. They don’t need to talk about feelings or their problems; they can handle them on their own without any help because they are ‘men’ and so are strong. This could be taken from the ideology of past years of which men are the leaders and should show no weaknesses.
9 Men compete for dominance, with some men talking a lot more than others. They don't feel the need to link their own contributions to others. Instead, they are more likely to ignore what has been said before and to stress their own point of view.
10 What does this tell us?From young ages, boys are thought to be more dominant; they make demands and use directives to get what they want.They use anecdotes to show that they are the best and have achieved something proudly.
11 So what happens between mixed-sex conversations? Lack of Communication is one of the most frequently given reasons for breakdown of marital relations.Traditionally, it has been seen as the woman's responsibility to initiate conversations on topics likely to be of interest to men, and to maintain the conversation.
12 Pamela Fishman taped daily conversations of three young American couples (fifty-two hours of speech). She found that women asked the vast majority of questions: 263 out of a total of 370. This may reflect women's relative weakness in interactive situations: they exploit questions and answers in order to force a response and keep the conversation going.
13 In mixed-sex conversations men interrupt women more, with the result that women are less able to complete their turns at talk and tend to talk less.As a result, men tend to dominate topics of conversation and women tend to take on the role of listener.This information all supports Z&W’s theory that men are more dominant in mixed-sex conversations, and are more likely to interrupt than women.
14 Our Results In our first recording, we found: The male was more dominant in conversation than females, including having control of the conversation topic, and interrupting three times.Even though the male was the most dominant, the older woman did make an attempt to interrupt him and take control of the conversation. This could show that women do have the power to interrupt and control, but prefer to just listen and follow the rules of turn-taking most of the time.
16 However, there are other factors that may influence why men seem to interrupt more than women. For instance, age and experience, personalities as well as interest in the conversation.Zimmerman and West may have used subjects of the same age with the same likes.
17 In other conversations we recorded, men interrupted and overlapped the same amount in conversations with each other, as they did in mixed sex conversations. However in just male conversations they did not make an attempt to change the subject of the conversation, as they did in the mixed sex conversations.This could show men want to link to other males’ contributions but contradict or challenge women’s, and want to attempt to have control with women.
18 In a conversation with just females, turn-taking was more apparent, as they all listened to each others responses more.However, they did overlap sometimes when they wanted to agree with a point the woman was making. However it was normally done in a supportive way.