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LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011

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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Do men and women speak the same? Assumptions behind this question:
There may be a difference between men and womens speech
There is an expected (binary) difference between men and women in general as distinct social groups

There is linguistic variation

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER What are some stereotypes about the way men and women behave?
MEN aggressive Rational powerful strong confident stubborn Bread winner Problem solver Math doer Bug killers Good driver Hard worker WOMEN Passive / aggressive Irrational Hysterical Moody Nurturing Care-taker / care-giver feminine delicate

Direct/assertive
Bad listeners Not emotional - detached Sports freaks

masculine

Intuitive
Spiritual Talkative / gossipy Nagging

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER What are some stereotypes about the way men and women talk?
MEN loud Brief/blunt/to the point Do interrupt Superficial Chatty Cathy Gossip WOMEN baby-talk expressive

Tangential (going off topic) 3rd person exp more standard class? bigger vocab elegant Mumble/speak softly

Mumble/no enunciate

manipulative (direct)
swearing argumentative men dont talk exaggerate

Non-emotional content/Fact-based content 1st person experiences Grunt Lower voices/deeper Literal meaning Confidence in statement Boastful lower classes talk less correct

Exaggerate
Laugh/smile

manipulative (indirect)
self-effacing 2-faced/catty hedging

Cooperative/diplomatic High rising intonation

dominating conversation

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Robin Lakoff, 1975, womens language (p. 318-19 inWardhaugh)


Tag questions Rising intonation for declarative statements Empty adjectives (divine, lovely) Specialized womens vocabulary (color terms) Frequent use of emphasis (speaking in italics - What a beautiful hat) Intensive so (You are so fired) Politeness devices and hypercorrect grammar (women use more standard language; more indirect requests) Hedges (well, like, sort of) Women dont tell jokes

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Some empirical evidence


Discourse Studies
Many studies have looked at the idea that women talk more than men
James & Drakich, 1993 - review of all these studies found that in only 2 of 56 studies that women talked more than men. Other factors more important than gender of speaker - content, situation, etc.

Many studies have looked at interruption


James & Clarke, 1992 - review of these studies shows that men interrupt others more than women and that specifically, men interrupt women more than women interrupt men - these trends were not statistically significant also shows that there are very differing opinions of what an interruption is

Both areas or study have some methodological issues involved so not all studies use the same definitions of amount of talk and interruption

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Different perspectives (lenses) of data analysis


Dominance (1970s and 1980s)
Interprets the differences between womens and mens linguistic usage as reflexes of the dominant-subordinate relationship holding between men and women. Zimmerman & West, 1975 - shows that men interrupt women (even if women are doctors) and directly link this interruption to dominance based on sex of the interrupter and the interrupted Interprets womens language as usage tied to lack of dominance (leads to a deficit approach)

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Different perspectives (lenses) of data analysis


Difference (Celebrate the difference!) (1980s and 90s)
The differences between womens and mens linguistic usage as arising from the different subcultures in which women and men are socialized Arose after dominance model became a deficit model (using mens language as a standard to which womens was compared) Maltz & Borker, 1982 - Linguistic behavior of men and women based on different subcultures and what is appropriate for those subcultures like intercultural communication when men and women are talking together Tannen utilizes this approach With respect to aggressive verbal behavior like interruption, the difference approach suggests that women tend to take overt aggressive behavior as a personal attack, while men view it as a conventional organizing structure for conversational flow

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Different perspectives (lenses) of data analysis


Power
OBarr & Atkins, 1980 - show that the features outlined by Lakoff as womens language were used by witnesses not by gender, but by degree of power (expert versus non-expert witnesses) West, 1984 - shows that female doctors were interrupted by their patients more than male doctors Problems with power analysis is that womens language features intrinsically defined as powerless - could have other meanings When female doctors are interrupted by male patients, is this performing power or is it simply performing gender-based behavior?

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Different perspectives (lenses) of data analysis


All approaches have problems Difference approach does not talk about issues of power or dominance Dominance approach can devalue womens language and essentially define womens language as powerless The deficit model (stemmed from Lakoffs list) comes from Dominance or Power model which compares womens language to mens in terms of mens language being the norm (NOT the difference model!! Wardhaugh is mistaken on p. 347)

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Synthesis of approaches

Janet Holmes came up with some questions about ling universals of women and mens talk (Wardhaugh, p. 342) Women and men develop different patterns of language use. Function: the purpose of the talk - Women tend to focus on the affective functions of an interaction more often than men do Solidarity: how the participants relate to each other - Women tend to use ling devices that stress solidarity more often than men do Power: whos in charge - Women tend to interact in ways which will maintain and increase solidarity, while (especially in formal contexts) men tend to interact in ways which will maintain and increase their power and status Status: how speech indicates social status - Women use more standard forms than men from the same social group in the same social context - Women are more stylistically flexible than men But Kiesling - Frat men studies show that men do solidarity through insults (indirect solidarity) http://www.pitt.edu/~kiesling/skresearch.html#_Language_and_Identity

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Language and gender in ling variation


Non discourse - language change and variation (dialect studies) Women use less stigmatized forms (th, negative concord, -ing) - conservative Women lead language change - innovative Paradox of behavior that women are conservative and innovative at the same time - resolved in Philadelphia Interacts with social class Why do women lead language change? Women are more prestige conscious = Prestige approach Is there something inherently masculine about stigmatized language/more vernacular speech? What about swearing?

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Language and gender in ling variation


Not always true that women use less vernacular/stigmatized forms Also has access to how the speech community is organized who has more access/interaction with standard language women or men? Class again Contact based approach

ECKERT ARTICLE According to Eckert, the fact that women have less power is the reason they use linguistic resources for symbolic capital (Eckert handout) Shows the greater linguistic differences between the girl groups versus the boy groups and how gender interacts with other social variables She suggests that gender is the most important social factor - what happens when you see someone and you cant figure out what sex they are? Go here to hear some of these variables:
http://www.stanford.edu/~eckert/vowels.html

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Language and identity - Sex vs. Gender


Zimmerman & West, 1987 - Doing Gender Language is part of behavior which we use to construct identity (social construction theory) Gender different from sex - adopted from Judith Butler - the idea that we perform our gender Mismatches between expected gender behavior and sex of performer How does this change things? If we think about why women or men act the way they do linguistically this means it is because they are creating gendered identities this is always within the culture that includes the EXPECTATIONS of how women and men SHOULD behave.

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Language and Gender applied

West, studies of patient/doctor interaction Found women doctors interrupted more than male doctors Found women doctors use different request strategies than men: more indirect requests - could you sit up here? - more inclusive requests - lets ... The patient compliance was greater for these types of requests, so physicians are recently being taught to use these types of womens directives to increase patient compliancy rates

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Language and Sexuality

How is sexual orientation identity revealed in our speech? (Wardhaudh, p. 353) Sounding gay and sounding lesbian The sex/gender difference in transsexuals/transgendered persons Can you tell the sexual orientation of someone without even seeing them? What I found in Philadelphia - lesbians lead language change, not necessarily all women - couldnt link it to Gender Index, but maybe tomboys or more masculineoriented women?

LING 432-532 Sociolinguistics Spring 2011


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Wardhaugh Ch 13

Wardhaugh Chapter 13 GENDER

Many instances of gender in various languages


Carib and Arawak example Japanese example Malagasay - shows that a male or female style is not universal - also shows that in patriarchal cultures, that the style or ling features associated with men are the ones that are valued regardless of what those features are