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Language and gender

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Introduction

Language and gender It is unquestionable that, generally speaking, men and women communicate differently. They always have done, and still do today, use the English language in very different ways. After looking at two writers, Deborah Tannen and Jenny Cheshire; both of which have performed various studies to observe the different conversational style patterns between genders, I will summarise their findings. Deborah Tannen claims that there are gender differences in ways of speaking, and this can sometimes be overlooked causing arguments and damaging relationships; "because boys and girls grow up in what are essentially different cultures...talk between women and men is cross-cultural communication" For her language and gender studies, she traced patterns of speech in past studies and looked at videotapes of men and women talking together to observe how each sex acted, and what main differences there were. ...read more.

Middle

their activities, so conversation for adult males becomes a contest, as there seems to be a sort of 'social hierarchy' between men. However, even though each gender, generally speaking, are very different in conversation, the language used by men is seen as the norm, according to Tannen, who does not agree that this should be the case, and that women should not change their conversational style to fit in with men's. She observed that women who do so are seen as invading a mans realm of speech, and are judged harshly, and are often also considered to be rude and unfeminine. Overall, Deborah Tannen found that women talk a lot more than men, which is often seen as talking too much, women tend to talk privately or in small groups of friends, where as men speak publicly, women 'overlap' more than men, where as men tend to speak one at a time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, observing that girls are generally more consensus-driven than boys. On the other hand, Cheshire seen that the group of boys tended to have a more hierarchical structure of interaction; there would be one leader who decides what they will do, and the other boys simply follow what he says without argument. The third group that she observed was a group of 'tomboy' type girls, who did not talk or play like the other group of girls did, but instead, adopted a similar linguistic style to that of the boys, and by doing so, thought they were more powerful than the first group of girls, drawing a conclusion to the studies of Jenny Cheshire that girls associated male peer linguistic international style with status. In conclusion, both of these writers, although carrying out very different studies, seem to both find similar things. The observations of Deborah Tannen, and Jenny Cheshire support eachother in many aspects. ?? ?? ?? ?? Stephanie Brown ...read more.

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