Men and Women: as Interpreted by Deborah Tannen

Topics: Male, Female, Gender Pages: 3 (802 words) Published: May 1, 2002
Did you know, "men and women talk differently because they are raised in something like two different cultures: a male culture from which young men learn to speak like men and a female culture in which young women learn to speak like women?"(Cooper and MacDonald 9). Well, not actually from two separate cultures, but the idea of men and women being opposites as pointed out in the opening. Deborah Tannen has made her theory that a male culture and female culture each exist, very popular with the human population and has written an extensive book on her theory. To define these communication conundrums, Tannen discusses "rapport-talk" and "report-talk". She defines "rapport-talk" as "For most women, the language of conversation is primarily a language of rapport: a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships" (Cooper and MacDonald 10). Rapport-talk has its strong points focused on showing similarities and matching experiences. Women choose private speaking as the best places for communication. They like small settings and small groups of people that they know well. Tannen uses "report-talk" to explain how men communicate. "Report-talk" is "For most men, talk is primarily a means to preserve independence and negotiate and maintain status in a hierarchical social order" (Cooperand MacDonald 10). Men choose to communicate in public settings, they like to hold center stage by talking as much as possible and to be recognized and acknowledged as having a place in the social order. But as Tannen states, "even the most private situations can be approached like public speaking, more like giving a report than establishing a rapport" (Cooper and MacDonald 10). The typical stereotypes of communication are that women talk more than men, that is not necessarily true. For example, Tannen states, "...another explanation is that men think women talk to much because they hear women talking in situations where men would not: on the telephone; or in social...
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