Gender Theorists

  • Created by: G-Hobbs
  • Created on: 15-03-18 14:05
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  • Gender Theorists
    • Deficit model
      • Otto Jesperson (1920) - male-as-norm view
      • Lakoff (1975) - women use deficit features of language
        • No statistics to back her claim so not relieble
        • Features such as empty adjectives e.g. "divine"; hedges e.g. "sort of", "kind of"; super-polite forms e.g. "would you mind.."; speak less; tag questions; emphasis
    • Dominance Model
      • Zimmerman and West (1975) - interruptions and overlaps - US study
        • 98% of interruptions came from men - therefore men are the dominant in the pair
      • Spender (1980) - advocated the radical view that language structures sustain men's power
        • referred to Z and W to support her idea of a patriarchal order
        • difficult ot challenge this power system, since the way that we think of the world is part of, and reinforces, this male power.
      • Cheshire (1982) - grammaticla variations in young children
        • Overall boys used non-standard froms more frequently tyhan girls
        • "variation is controlled by both social and linguistic factors."
      • Fishman (1983) - looking at tag questions
        • agreed with Lackoff that women used tag questions
        • BUT "Conversational Shitwork" - tag questions used to start conversations
    • Difference Model
      • Tannen (1990) - six contrasts between men and women's language
        • Originally a student of Lackoff
        • You Just Don't Understand
        • Status/Support; independence/intimacy; Advice/understanding; information/feelings; order/proposals; conflict/compromise
      • Peter Trudgill (1974) - language and social class
        • men less likely (macho) and women more likely to use prestige (insecurity)
      • Jones (1990) - women's oral culture
        • House talk - disguising function is to exchange information and resources connected with the female role as an occupation
        • Scandal - judging the behaviour of others (esp women). usually in terms of domestic morality, of which women have been appointed guardians
        • Bitching - overt expression of women's anger at their restricted roel and inferior status. express this in private with only other women. They don't expect change, only want to make complaints in an environment that it will be understood and expected.
        • Chatting - most intimate form of gossip. mutual self-disclosure. transaction where women use to their own advantage the skill of nurturing others
      • Pilkington (1992) - same-sex converstions
        • claimed women are collaborative in same sex conversations
        • men were less collaborative, less complimentary, less supportuve
      • Coates (1989) - same sex friendship groups
        • girls and boys talk differently because they belong to same-sex friendship groups growing up - different styles of speaking
        • Women's language in same-sex conversations are supportive and cooperative, using tag questions and modality
    • Diversity Model
      • Talbot (2010) - "gender is socially constructed. people acquire characteristics which are perceived as 'masculine' and 'feminine'"
      • Butler (1990) - Gender Performativity Theory
        • we are not biologically constructed but conform to social norms
      • Hyde (2005) - Gender similarities hypothesis
        • differences in language is due to many variables, such as age, class, ethnicity, educatio, occupation, sexuality, politics etc
      • O'Barr and Atkins (1980) - power in language
        • study of courtroom cases and witnesses' speeches
        • language differences are based on situation-specific authority or power, not gender
      • Cameron (2008) - "the greatest myth of our time"
        • Claimed that men and women speak differently is "one of the greatest myths of our time"
        • challenges the previous research of Lakoff, Fishman and Tannen
        • argues that stereotypes have shaped our expectations on the speech of men and women
        • moved away from categorising speech as polarised and driven by biological differences
        • focussed on how speakers construct gendered identities for themselves
        • the idea that gender is something that people deliberately "do" as a way to project their identity is central to her views


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