Professor Kristen Heine
WRA 125 Section 006
October 5, 2012
Language & Gender
Language is a very powerful element. When we talk about language we refer to it as a body of words and the systems we use to communicate with people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural traditions. Many factors can affect language such as: age, ethnicity, social class, education, and gender. Gender will be the main topic that I analyze in this paper. Men and women talk differently and interpret what is being said in different ways. There are varying degrees of masculine and feminine speech characteristics in all of us. Men and women speak in particular ways because those ways are connected with their gender. Society constructs the definition of gender for men and women. Gender and sex are not the same. Sex is the biological characteristics of men and women. Roles given to women and men in society and in their public and private life is depicted by their gender. I choose this topic to better understand how much gender influences women or men’s language. How does it affect their response, interruptions, dominance in a conversation, interventions and vocabulary because of their gender? After reading many authors’ theories on language and gender such as: Deborah Tannen’s book “You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation”, Penelope Eckert “Language and Gender”, and many others. I decided to focus my paper on Deborah Tannen’s book. Tannen’s book is a good fit to analysis because it uses examples from her own life and her family, students and friends. Since the examples are from real life, it helps people better understand each concept. The book breaks down each problem men and women have communicating into sections. The sections made writing this paper easier because then I could break down each section for my audience. Tannen uses difference feminism to stress that men and women are different...
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