Gender, Sex, and “Race” in Communication Psychology of Language - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Gender, Sex, and “Race” in Communication Psychology of Language

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  1. John R. Baldwin, Ph.D. School of Communication Illinois State University November 9, 2005 Gender, Sex, and “Race” in CommunicationPsychology of Language

  2. So….What do we mean by “difference”? • Overlapping bell curves • Diversity among difference • Changing (co-)cultures • Race & Gender: Who is “more different”? • The haunting question: Are differences between groups greater than the differences within groups?

  3. Top Challenges for Women & Men (Barbara Annis & Associates) (

  4. Deborah Tannen’s Approach • Men • Report • Competition Women • Rapport • Collaboration

  5. Deborah Tannen (cont’d) Men Women • Interruptions • Telling stories • Nonverbal feedback (mm hmm) • Posture & NV communication

  6. Another way to see the same thing

  7. Gender Linked Language Effect

  8. Male Leadership—Female Leadership[Natalle, 1996] • Competitive • Organizes hierarchically • Transactional • Objective: to win • High control • Reason & analysis • Low emotional involvement • “Sports team” models • Command/control leader • Bottom line: cooperation • Organizes in teams • Interactive • Objective: quality output • Shared control • High performance standards • Empathy & Support • Collaborative interaction • Democratic See also:

  9. When Women and Men Communicate Double Binds

  10. Changing Gender Generalizations • The changing woman • Feminism • Liberal • Radical • Women in sports • Women reclaiming identity • The changing man • Metrosexuals • Ubersexuals;;

  11. Stereotypes of Women (Wood, 1999) Stereotyping is the “major reason behind the gender gap in leadership” --Ilene H. Lang, President, Catalyst, in (10/30/05) [See also ] • Sex object: • Pleasing appearance • Mother • “not serious professionals” • Iron Maiden • Child

  12. Stereotypes of Men (Wood, 1999) Who stereotypes women in the workplace? “In other words, men run the organization and women support them. That just the way most of us think, right?...But why, after all this time. . . Are we still putting women in their stereotypical places?” --Amy Joyce,, 10/30/05 • Sturdy Oak: • Self-contained • Not weak or reliant • Fighter • No room for “wimpy” commitment • Aggressive • Conflicting • Breadwinner • Success objects

  13. Communication and Power… From M. P. Orbe, M. P. (1998) Constructing co-cultural theory: An explication of culture, power, and communication. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

  14. What is a “Co-Culture”? • A group that has little or no say in creating the dominant structure of society • E.G. Ethnic or religious minorities, homosexuals, the disabled, etc…

  15. Why learn about co-cultural communication? • “Identification and explication of the communication practices of co-cultural groups are valuable and important for understanding how persons, marginalized in a dominant society, communicate with those who have direct access to institutional power.” FOR MORE INFO... --Orbe, 1998 (p. 86)

  16. Background to CCT • Standpoint (feminist) theory • Each group has partial knowledge • Some partial knowledges are more complete than others: Subordinate group knows dominant more than dominant knows subordinate (why?) • It is important to learn perspectives of subordinate groups (why?)

  17. Background to CCT • Muted Group (feminist) theory • Dominant group shapes the language of a society • Co-cultures must create their own language to make sense of their reality • Yet, dominant culture privileges one speech code (dominant) over the other (co-cultural), often through ridicule, marginalization, and (perhaps unintentional) dominance in modes of language creation and propagation

  18. Six Universal Influences • Preferred Outcomes—“What communication behavior will lead to the effect that I desire?” • Field of Experience– “What past interactions have I had with dominant group members that will influence my current behavior? • Abilities– “What are my physical and psychological limitations in communicating with the dominant culture?” Continued…

  19. Situational Context– “In what situation am I communicating with the dominant culture?” • Perceived Costs and Rewards— “What do I stand to gain and lose from an interaction with a member of the dominant culture?” • Communication Approach– “Which of the three approaches will I employ to achieve my preferred outcome?”

  20. Assimilation – trying to get rid of all cultural differences in an attempt of fit into the dominant culture. Accommodation – insisting that the dominant culture reinvent or change the rules of society so it can incorporate the life experiences of each co-culture group. Separation – rejecting the notion of forming a common bond with dominant group and seeking to maintain separate group identities outside the dominant structure. Three Preferred Outcomes

  21. Nonassertive – behaviors in which individuals are seemingly inhibited and non-confrontational; putting the needs of others before one’s own. Assertive – communication practices that encompass self-enhancing expressive behavior that takes into account the needs of others and one’s self. Aggressive – communication practices that can be perceived as hurtfully expressive and self-promoting. Aggressive practices assume control over the choices of others. Three Communication Approaches

  22. Female Managers with Male Employees • Don’t take it personally if some men don’t particularly like working with or for a female. (It’s just a job; you don’t have to be liked). • Be direct, concise, and to the point in conversation. Don’t assume he will pick up subtle cues or ask for information. • Don’t offer help apologetically. Just give suggestions directly. • Lighten up a little. (you can have a sense of humor and gain credibility also). --Judith Tingley: Suggestions for Genderflexing

  23. Male Managers with Female Employees • Listen and talk, rather than tell. • Treat your female subordinate equally. (same opportunities to deal with tough tasks, interesting projects, hard or physical work) • Recognize the need for difference in how you communicate (e.g., jokes, military or sports metaphors) 4. Give more positive feedback about performance than you think might be necessary in managing men (women may need more approval—on performance, not appearance) --Judith Tingley: Suggestions for Genderflexing

  24. Solutions… “Cultural” differences • Describe, don’t evaluate • Recognize value differences • Be aware of attribution • Be aware of stereotypes (yours & theirs!) • Be aware of different meanings • Know yourself! • Look for similarities (too) • Don’t confuse people with cultures • Talk through differences

  25. Solutions…Prejudice & Stereotypes • Be a situational leader • Win respect • Step out of your comfort zone • Led go of the need to be liked • Practice leadership and accountability • Learn to laugh [Terri Mrosko,] Is that all there is?

  26. Solutions…and Questions • What solutions and strategies have worked for you? • What questions do you have? To contact speaker: