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12. What’s the main point of this article? (“What language Barrier”)
The main point of the article is to demonstrate that most of the surveys held to show the differences between male and female are based not on facts but on myths. Moreover, studies that found these differences are likely to be published, and thus they become public knowledge, when those ones that prove that there is no significant difference are often neglected. The media sources made this subject highly popular and now they tend to publish even unproved facts. Now people are programmed to search for differences instead of looking for common things in males and females attitudes. This is why the best advice for readers as consumers of such information is to doubt and to criticize everything they read or watch.
15. What is the point of Cameron’s “Is there any ketchup, Vera?” story?
The key point of the story is that there is “real” conflict about what was meant, it is about who expects something and from whom. Direct or indirect requests do not play a major role in this questions. Men and women comprehend them in the same way so they do not create any difference. Thus everybody has their own filter that works for acceptance of such requests. The person asking something indirectly expects another one to do it but it is up to the latter to decide how to react to the request: to commit an action or to give an answer as if it was simple gathering information. That is why this story proves that both male and female have an ability to understand tentative language, the “real” conflict lays within other scope.
Talbot Ch 6
1) Which of our readings or work discussed in our readings have been written from (or are written to complicate/dispute) the following perspectives to explain women and men’s language use and what leads you to say so?
a) deficit perspective b) dominance perspective c) difference perspective
2) Discuss how Tannen’s difference perspective is similar to sociolinguistic work (Trudgill, Eckert’s Jocks and Burnouts) on dialect differences?
It is similar because these works are based on the idea that male and female use different words and word combinations because the purpose of their talks is different. Men compete and dominate in the conversations while women tend to establish connections.
3) What are the objections to the dominance perspective?
The dominance perspective lacks solid ground of proofs. It is based on the idea of male dominance in different spheres and now corresponds to the way the different sexes communicate.
4) What are the objections to the difference perspective?
Society tends to find differences instead to show and accept the similarity. That is why this perspective is only one-side perspective and needs further researches.
5) If you were going to create a study of the use of ‘like’ in an attempt to explore the use of ‘like’ by boys/men and girls/women, what would you need to take into account in setting up your research study and how you measure your findings?
I would take into account that women tend to establish connections with people and demonstrating their interest by “like” serves this purpose. Men use it when they have direct purpose to gain something by this deed.
6) If you were going to create a study of ‘interruptions’ in an attempt to explore interruptions made by boys/men and girls/women, what would you need to take into account in setting up your research study and how you measure your findings?
I would take into account that men statistically interrupt more because they need to be dominant in the conversation. But of course this research must also include psychological peculiarities.
“What Language Barrier”
7) Cameron attributes various claims to “the myth of Mars and Venus.” Which of these claims appear to be claims made by Deborah Tannen?
The first claim is a link between sexes and amount of words said during the day. The second one is the difference of what is said and what is understood when men and women speak. Same claims were made by Deborah Tannen too.
8) What's the significance of the story about Cameron’s father and female drivers?
When interpreting situations people typically pay most attention to things that match their expectations, and often fail to register counter-examples. That is why he literally did not notice women who drove unremarcably.
9) In the book called the Female Brain, what were the origins of the numbers of words men and women spoke per day?
The origins were not an academic citation but a reference to a self-help book. This means that there was no research, no experimental word count that may have proved the author's position, but it had already made its damage.
10) Cameron, referring to James and Drakich’s research, reports their belief that gender and amount of talk is related indirectly rather than directly. What does that mean?
The amount of words has more direct link with status rather than sex. The basic trend, especially in formal and public contexts, is for higher-status speakers to talk more than lower-status ones. That is why men talk more than women when they are of higher-status.
11) How did Dale Spender explain the folk belief that women talk more than men?
She said that people overestimate how much women talk because they think that, ideally, women would not talk at all. The folk-belief that women talk more than men persists because it provides a justification for an ingrained social prejudice.
“Speak up, I can't hear you”
13) What is the significance of Cameron’s title “Speak up, I can’t hear you”? Is she arguing that women and men can’t hear one another?
She promotes the idea that male and women do not have real problem of understanding each other. They should learn to communicate better and then they will hear each other the way they expect it.
14) What are some ways we refuse the requests/offers of one another? For example, imagine someone says, “Could you give me a ride home?” (request) or “Would you like to go see a movie with me on Sunday?” (offer). If you want to refuse, what are the ways you might realistically do so?
The first answer can be simple “No” because it is a request and if you do not want to do this you may just refuse. The second question is offer thus you should answer in a polite way in order not to hurt somebody's feelings, for example “I am sorry but I have plans for Sunday already.”
16) What is the point of Cameron’s analysis of the “Just Say No” campaign? Summarize first the campaign and then give her point.
The idea of the campaign is that women's refusal must take firm form of “No.” Cameron argues that men are capable of understanding that women refuses even if she uses tentative language.
17) Summarize the difference between Tannen and Cameron’s perspectives on gender and language differences.
Tannen stated the comforting idea that all the problems between men and women come down to simple communication, namely some misunderstandings. However, all the problems, according to Cameron, go deeper than “failure to communicate.”
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