Observational Study - Do Men Dominate Conversations Between Men and Women?

Topics: Scientific method, Economic inequality, Conversation Pages: 5 (1395 words) Published: November 12, 2008
Observational Study

Research Aim:
Do men dominate conversations between men and women?
My Aim for this study is to prove whether or not economic and social inequalities between men and women in society are reflected in personal conversations between them. I will do this by identifying whether or not the following patterns could be identified in the conversations between the men and women: Men talked more than women

Men chose the topic of conversation
Men would change the topic of conversation if women introduced them •Men interrupted women more when they were speaking
Men spoke more assertively
Men asked fewer questions
Men talked more about themselves and their achievements
Women spoke more about their family and other people
Women would pick up the conversation if it dropped
Women asked more questions than men
Women encouraged others to speak and express themselves – men did not •Women often did not finish their sentences
Women would use expressions like “do u think so?” or “really” encouraging interaction. Dorothy Smith argued that these were all true; therefore by conducting this experiment it will allow me to formulate my own conclusion, which will then enable me to prove whether or not her theory can be proved true.

My hypothesis:
I predict that economic and social inequalities between men and women in society are reflected through conversations between the two.
The type of observational method I will be employing will be non participant observation. This is when the sociologist does not join the group that they have chosen to observe.

Below is a graph to show the overall data collected through this experiment. This shows the overall result of the data I collected. This is the data I then interpreted to come to note and analyze trends and later formulate conclusions.

Research Aim:
“Do men dominate the conversations between men and women?” Key ThemesWomenMen
Time spent talking
Less than 30 secs
Under 1 minute
1 minute plus
2 minutes plus
3 minutes plus
Average At a time

Average at a time

Introduces topic of conversation64
Changes topic of conversation37
Interrupts speaker25

I have recorded the patterns and trends that I noticed through carrying out this task. From which I was then able to analyze further and relate to society today.

Women tend to try to keep the conversation going if it was beginning to slow down or stop.Men didn’t usually put much effort into keeping the conversation going. It was usually because of this that the women had to make more of an effort to keep it going. Topics of conversation involved family issues, worries, problems, kids, emotions etc. (In a traditional family)Topics of conversation involved money affairs (bills), business, politics etc. More interested in the fairness of the argument, equality and less assertive. Just trying to express a different view rather than just being right.If they were wrong they would divert the conversation quickly and change the subject, however if they were right they would keep arguing to make it known they were right. Females thought of others and looked at the minor details rather than the bigger pictureTend to switch off a lot easier if the conversation is not in their interest. Interested in what the men or others in general had to say as well as just themselvesFelt that their conversation had more importance over the women’s. Women look for advice and feedback and a two way conversation including talking and most important listening from both parties.Men were predominantly just interested in what they had to say. The women were just expected to listen and agree.

Men feel that what they have to say is more important than the women, therefore when the topic of conversation is not seen by the man as being important, they ‘switch off’. In return the women then try harder and put more effort into up...
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