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English Investigation Introduction: For this project I am going to analyse how women and men behave when using language in casual situations? There have been many previous research finding and conclusions about gender and conversational behaviour. For example Jennifer Coates identified two approaches, which she describes as dominance and difference. Jennifer Coates was a writer to wrote about the language differences between men and women. Dominance argues that because women occupy a less powerful position in society than men, their constitutional behaviour is less assertive and less confident. Men are dominant within society, so it is not surprising that they tend to dominate mixed sex conversations. Women are said to be used to male dominance, and as a result of social conditioning will often be polite and respectful when speaking to men. Whereas the idea of difference is where the focus is more on differences in male and female attitudes and values, that are said to be inculcated from childhood, when we form, and are influenced by, single sex peer groups. Studies of children's play have found that in boy's games there is more emphasis on competition and confrontation, while girl's games are more cooperative.
Analysis: First of all I am going to analyse the context of my data. The first transcript is between four friends occasionally five when they contribute to the conversation. The conversation is very informal and very casual with no real meaning or purpose except for socialising during break time, which means the conversation is quite forced to some extent even though they were talking about what they liked to talk about. All the women contributed equally I would say; to the conversation. Although women are characteristically and socially known for being quite capable and good at making conversation there is not a lot of prove from the experts or researchers that suggests that males do not make conversation or are any less capable. Therefore when looking at the men's conversation I saw that they were just as able and good at making conversation. The men's conversation was between three people occasionally four or five when they contributed to the conversation. This conversation was also very informal and casual and was also something that the men wanted to talk about. In the conversation you can see that between them there is one more dominant male who tends to initiate conversation and interrupt or overlap other speakers also could be know as holding the floor.
Zimmerman and West (1915) taped informal conversations between students in coffee bars, shops and other public places. They found that women talk about 'feelings' whereas men talk more about 'things'. Women conversation is often focused on personal experiences, relationships and problems. The topic of male conversation tends to be more concrete, relating to information, facts objects and activities. And from my own experiences these finding are accurate but also my data could also suggest this as well, for example in my females transcripts there is reference to a personal experience that doesn't really play a part in the structure of the conversation, it is quite random. The participant says " Rory always corrects my spelling its well annoying on msn he always like types things in a little star and then says correct spelling" the participate gets interrupted while saying this as it is nothing to do with the conversation. Also in my transcript I can see that men use more taboo language than women do for example in my male conversation one participant says "fucking legend" whereas in my female conversation there was no swearing words used. However as my transcripts were quite short they do not relate to all females.
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