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Week 6 Language and Gender Tyler Schnoebelen Kyuwon Moon 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Week 6 Language and Gender Tyler Schnoebelen Kyuwon Moon 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 6 Language and Gender Tyler Schnoebelen Kyuwon Moon 1

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5 Big themes These chapters talk a lot about “moves” and “positioning” This connects to the course theme about gender (and other constructs) being something we do. We’re walking that tightrope between agency (if you’re going to talk about “moves”, someone is making ‘em) and social structure (constraints, prior positionings) 5

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7 An alternate universe 7

8 Agency Quick follow-up: – You can think of agency as “the ability to do things in the world”. The important thing is that it happens relative to larger social structures. – People (agents!) can do a lot of stuff, but social structures are everywhere, so a super-agentive theory (“Up With People”) still has to figure out what the constraints are, where they come from, how people interact with them. 8

9 Agency and… Agency, intention, and consciousness – “I didn’t mean/intend it!!” – Because you use “dude” and occasionally say “that is so gay!”, you are a male chauvinist pig? Indexical field – The meanings are out there, and we only have an access to it (although we are all participating in meaning making processes). – Doesn’t have to be an intentional or conscious move 9

10 Face Positive face: – “We”, affiliation with others – Getting approval, building “belonging” – (We like each other) Negative face: – “I”, a separate individual – Carving out a space – (I deserve respect, you shouldn’t impose too much, I have needs) 10

11 Face-threatening Acts Inevitable component in social interactions Negative Face-threatening Acts – When speakers/hearers do not avoid disrupting their interlocuters’ freedom of action. Positive Face-threatening Acts – When the speakers/hearers do not care about their interlocuters’ feelings. 11

12 So, what? Face: positive and negative – the basic wants in any social interaction – Importance of cooperation in interaction Universality of Face? 12

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14 Politeness Positive politeness: – To minimize the threat to the hearer’s positive face – Admiration, playfulness, familiar terms of address Negative politeness: – To emphasize avoidance of imposition on the hearer – Showing respect/deference (not quite the same) – Apologies, thanking, formal terms of address 14

15 Tag questions Epistemic modal (uncertainty) – “She was behind the 2-meter line, wasn’t she?” Facilitative – “That was amazing acting, wasn’t it?” Softening – “You didn’t have right of way, did you?” Challenging – “You designed this software for you not your users, didn’t you?” 15

16 Tag question questions Which ones of those are actually “weak”? What else do they do? Is it gender? Powerlessness? Do you create weakness for yourself? Can you really be more assertive? 16

17 Hedges and discourse particles Hedges: “probably”, “sorta” Discourse particles: “You know”, “of course” These aren’t really about content, but “positioning”. (Things are very rarely “empty”, as we keep seeing.) 17

18 Intersections Okay, we’ve got the following things in the mix (and a lot more). How do they interact with the idea of “politeness”? – Gender – Social class – Culture 18

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20 Typology of speech acts Know about performative speech acts – “I now declare you husband and wife.” But probably worry less about the others – Locutionary acts “Normal” speech/writing – Illocutionary acts Promise, invite, praise – Perlocutionary acts Persuade, frighten, comfort, impress 20

21 Affective/instrumental speech Affective: – “How sad”, “Damn it”, “What ___ they are” Instrumental: – “The hippo is the most dangerous mammal in Africa” But really, all speech is both 21

22 Chapter 5 examples All of these mark relationships between speakers. What are the similarities and differences in how they work? Terms of address (boy, miss, Dr.) French tu/vous Japanese honorifics (verb forms, o- suffix, wa/zo particles) 22

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