Gender theorists

4 approaches in gender?
Dominance, Difference, Deficit, Other
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Theorists that fit into dominance approach?
Cheshire, Zimmerman&West, Spender, Russel, Kuiper,
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Theorists that fit into difference approach?
Coates, Tannen, Holmes, Pilkington, Trudgill
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Theorists that fit into deficit approach?
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Theorists that fit into other?
Cameron, Hyde, O'bar&Atkins,
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Zimmerman & West
Found 96% of all interruptions in mixed-sex conversations were made by men
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Women are frequently controlled by use of insulting language & many of insulting words for women associate with promiscuity e.g. '****'
Words referring to men often less insulting.
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220 words referring to promiscuous females but only 20 for males
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Men use insults as a way of expressing solidarity
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Topic control, interruption, verbosity (long-windedness). Language is 'man-made'/ constructed by men as a way of embodying male dominance in society
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Identified features of women's language use: empty adjectives, excessively polite forms, euphemisms, more apologies than men, avoid taboo language, requests made indirectly, intensifiers, hedges, tag questions

Politeness principle:
Don't impose, Give opt
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6 main differences in ways males and females use language:
status vs support
independence vs intimacy
orders vs proposals
information vs feelings
advice vs understanding
conflict vs compromise
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All- female talk is co-operative, based on negotiation & support. These patterns aren't found in mixed talk.
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Women in same-sex talk were more collaborative than men were in all-male talk. Women aim for more positive politeness strategies but men are less complimentary & supportive in all-male talk.
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Claimed tag questions may not simply be a sign of uncertainty. Could be perceived as multifunctional
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Women more likely to adopt standard english than men because boys like 'toughness' rating they gain from using dialect. Interviewed boys in Reading- nearly all used non-standard talk
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Men tended to use more non standard forms. Covert prestige. Focused on suffix 'ing'
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Critised idea that there are more innate diff. between men and womens speech. Doesn't focus on biological diff. but how speakers construct gender identities for themselves- gender stereotypes?
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Obar & Atkins
Men of lower-class backgrounds use similar features of womens language showing uncertainty e.g. hedges
Led them to believe features of uncertain speech were more dependent on power than gender.
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More similarities than differences between male and female language. Age, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, occupation, education
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generic man

overt prestige

covert prestige
use of masculine pronouns as generic pronouns when gender is unspecified is generally no longer accepted

standard english in order to give appearance of a higher social status/ higher level of power

non-standard english & informal language that goes ag
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semantic derogation

semantic deterioration

lexical asymmetry
In sense of negative meaning that some lexis has associated with it e.g. 'mistress'
Negative connotations become attached to words

male words & feminine equivalents are often unequal.
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marked terms

terms for females are often marked by addition of a suffix to the male term which is unmarked

Attitudes & assumptions about language that have no real evidence to support them e.g. assumption women are more 'chatty' than men
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Theorists that fit into dominance approach?


Cheshire, Zimmerman&West, Spender, Russel, Kuiper,

Card 3


Theorists that fit into difference approach?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Theorists that fit into deficit approach?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Theorists that fit into other?


Preview of the front of card 5
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