Genderlect: How Men and Women Communicate Describe who the participants of the conversation were. Give the age of each person, location of conversation, relationship of participants to each other, etc. If you do not know the participants, then make your best guess about the characteristics of the conversation participants I was having coffee with a friend and her boyfriend. They were both in their mid twenties and were together for a couple of years. They knew each other ever since in college and they are both working in a respectable company.
Describe what the conversation was about, and give specific details about how the conversation relates to genderlect. These details may either support or disagree with the concept of genderlect you read about in the linguistic anthropology learning module. My friend told me that they were planning to get married and are trying to resolve some issues between them before they take the vow. They went to see a counselor and confided their relationship problems and tried to resolve them.
They consulted few problems especially trying to understand their differences and establish a harmonious relationship and avoiding conflict. One of the problems that they consulted is their communication problem that usually results in conflict and misunderstanding. The communication of the two is related to genderlect theory of communication as they are observing differences in their way of interacting with other people, especially people belonging from the opposite sex. The couple asked questions pertaining to the communication styles utilized by each other.
Women want intimacy and human connection, while men want to retain their independence. Women want their connections and communication to be reciprocated. Men, on the other hand, aim for a position as a sign of their competitive nature. What is your interpretation of genderlect? Do you believe that it is common among people you regularly converse with? Is it more common in certain age groups, social situations, etc? Do you think it does not have much validity? Make sure you refer to your research to back up your argument. Men and women are considered to be different in all aspects.
One of their differences is in their way of conversing and interacting with other people. Communication is a vital component of society in trying to achieve unity and understanding. It is important in making a connection with other people. But, one of the hindrances in attaining understanding is that when the two people are different in their way of conversing with each other. Genderlect describes the variation of language inherent to one or the other gender. The genderlect also refers to men and women’s way of communication and how the two differ.
There is no need to compare the two means of communication because the two methods are entirely different. The communication process of the two is not a matter of who is right or who is dominant, understanding is hard to achieve due to the prevailing difference of the two communication processes (“Genderlect,” 2008). According to theories such as the sociolinguistic and genderlect theory, the differences in communication and behavior of the two sexes are anchored on their discernible cultural and social experiences (Poole & Hollingshead, 2004).
Deborah Tannen claimed that even if the two people of different sexes came from the same culture, they will not still understand each other. The genderlect theory by Tannen discussed the differences in communication of men and women and the difference in the communication styles the two genders are utilizing (Robinson, 2003). One way of looking at the genderlect is seeing them like two different cultures conversing with each other with so many inherent barriers that hinder the attainment of understanding and unity.
One of the fundamental differences of the two genders is that women would like to establish connection and for them, human connection is very important. Men, on the other hand, are more attentive to the status in an interaction. (“Genderlect,” 2008). Men always try to avoid intangible and confusing conversation. Men always seek “solid facts” and data than hitting around the bush. However, women are more particular with their feelings and emotions in order to create a rapport and connection with the other person in the interaction.
The reason behind this is that men tend to view emotion as a sign of weakness and make themselves vulnerable to any type of attack (“Genderlect,” 2008). Women are also more engaged in private conversations for they seek to establish more individualized relationships. They refuse to talk more in public for the absence of human connection. They were also undermined by men in public, so they talk less. Men prefer more of the public forum where there is the presence of the audience that may recognize and look up to them. Men want authority and superiority (“Genderlect,” 2008).
For women, conflicts reduce the connection that they are trying to establish, so as much as possible they try to avoid them. Men, on the other hand, find conflict as a way of gaining authority. A sharp conversation and fight imposes the positions and status of the involved persons. Thus, the inherent inferiority of women makes women comply than argue. In reality, men initiate more conflict than women (“Genderlect,” 2008). Due to the cultural and social experiences of the two sexes, their ways of communication may also be affected.
In my own opinion and assessment, the theory is quite true through experiences from conversing with various people. The theory did not stress that conflict and misunderstanding will not always arise when two genders try to communicate. Conflict will also arise due to differences in personality, worldview and opinions, not only gender. The only flaw of the theory is that the theory greatly emphasizes on the goal of men to dominate others and the goal of women to establish deep relationship.
These two are no longer applicable today since there have been changes in the society in ways of relating to gender issues and the emergence of women’s power and contemporary feministic views altered this proposition in the theory (Carriero, 2008). Do you think the language behaviors of males and females reflect differences in how we expect males and females to behave? Why or why not? Refer to the text in your discussion. The theory attempts to explain the inherent differences in communication that emerged from the differences in gender. The premises of the theory are well-explained.
The theory is anchored on the cultural and social construction of an individual. The inherent role of men is to be dominant and superior. They are always up to compete for the hierarchical positions. Women, on the other hand, are expected to behave as inferior and subtle beings. In the contemporary society, as the theory puts greater emphasis on the goals of the genders in their communication and suggests that interaction is no longer applicable as the society, it also attempts to attain parity and equality among genders.
References Carriero, H. (2008, July 25).Do Men and Women Speak Different Dialects?. Associated Content. Retrieved October 10, 2008 from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/906989/do_men_and_women_speak_different_dialects. html? cat=38. Genderlect. (2008). ChangingMinds. org. Syque. Retrieved October 10, 2008 from http://changingminds. org/explanations/gender/genderlect. htm. Poole, M. S. & Hollingshead, A. B. (2004). Theories of Small Groups: Interdisciplinary Perspective. California: Sage Publications, Inc. Robinson, D. (2003). Becoming a Translator: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Translation. Oxon: Routledge.
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