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GENDERED COMMUNICATION PRACTICES. “Communication between men and women can be like cross cultural communication, prey to a clash of conversational styles” Deborah Tannen (1990). WOMEN’S SPEECH. For Most Women Communication is: to establish and maintain relationships

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gendered communication practices

GENDERED COMMUNICATION PRACTICES

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

women s speech
WOMEN’SSPEECH
  • For Most Women Communication is:
  • to establish and maintain relationships
  • conversation is for sharing and learning about others
  • Talk is the essence of relationships
equality
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.
showing support
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”
relationship level
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.
conversation maintenance
CONVERSATION MAINTENANCE
  • 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”
inclusivity
INCLUSIVITY
  • RESPONSIVENESS
  • usually respond in some fashion
  • verbally and nonverbally more engaged
  • make other feel valued and included
personal concrete style
PERSONAL, CONCRETE STYLE
  • Typical of women's conversation are
  • personal disclosures
  • details
  • anecdotes
  • concrete reasoning
tentativeness
TENTATIVENESS
  • Verbal Hedges
      • “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?”
men s speech
MEN’S SPEECH
  • Goal of talk is exerting control,preserving independence, and enhancing status.
  • Conversation is the arena for proving oneself & negotiating prestige.
men s speech11
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
show knowledge skill or ability
SHOW KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, OR ABILITY
  • 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....”
advice
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
instrumentality
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.
conversational dominance
CONVERSATIONAL DOMINANCE
  • 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
absolute assertive talk
ABSOLUTE, ASSERTIVE TALK
  • Language tends to forceful, direct, authoritative
  • Less use of hedges and disclaimers
abstract talk
ABSTRACTTALK
  • Speak in general terms
  • Fewer concrete experiences
  • More distanced from personal feelings
  • Works best in Public situation where theoretical & conceptual, talk is appropriate
less responsive
LESS RESPONSIVE
  • More “minimal response cues”
  • Less sympathy and self-disclosure
      • Sympathy seen as sign of condescension
      • Personal problems seen as vulnerability
talking about troubles
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
talking about troubles cont
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
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”

RELATIONSHIP TALK
gender questionnaire
GENDERQUESTIONNAIRE
  • Men talk more than women. T/F
  • T
  • Men are more likely to interrupt women than they are to interrupt other men.
  • T
  • Women tend to confront problems more directly and are likely to bring up the problem first.
  • T
questionnaire cont
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.
  • F
  • In general men and women talk about the same things.
  • F
  • Women use less personal space than men do.
  • T
  • When a man speaks, he is listened to more carefully than a woman, even if the presentation is identical.
  • T
questionnaire cont24
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.
  • T
  • In general men smile more often than women.
  • F
  • Women are more likely than men to answer questions that are not addressed to them.
  • F
  • Women and men are equally emotional when they speak.
  • T
  • Men appreciate jokes more than women.
  • T
the end
THE END

Based on Julia Wood’s book Gendered Lives