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Article Outline Tannen's Sex, Lies, and Conversation

Article Outline Tannen's Sex, Lies, and Conversation



Article Outline Tannen's Sex, Lies, and Conversation

Article Outline Tannen's Sex, Lies, and Conversation



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    Article Outline Tannen's Sex, Lies, and Conversation Article Outline Tannen's Sex, Lies, and Conversation Presentation Transcript

    • Sex, Lies, and Conversation Deborah Tannen Article Outline [Aiden Yeh] [Language and Culture] [YE4B] [WTUC]
    • Introduction
      • Deborah Tannen
    • Sex, Lies, and Conversation
      • Irony= American men tend to talk more than women in public situations, they often talk less at home.
      • Continuous pattern is wreaking havoc with marriage
      • Pattern was observed by political scientist Andrew Hacker. Findings show that lack of communication is the reason for many failed marriages (divorces)
      • 50% divorce rate in the U.S.
      • Also available online at http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/tannend/sexlies.htm
    • Reason behind failed marriages
      • Poor Communication between husband and wife
        • He doesn’t listen to me
        • He doesn’t talk to me
      • Wives’ expectation- want husbands to be conversational partners
      • Husbands- fail to meet this expectation
    • Stereotype Scene http://web.gc.cuny.edu/ashp/ltlnmc/puzzle.htm
    • Linguistic Battle of the Sexes
      • Women and Men have different impressions of communications in marriage
      • Eleanor Macoby (1990) research shows that children’s development is influences by social structure of peer interactions
        • Boys and genders tend to play with their own gender
        • Each group has different organizational structures and interactive norms
    • For women
      • Intimacy is the fabric of relationships
      • Talk is the thread from which it is woven
        • Girls exchange secrets
        • Conversations is the cornerstone of friendship
      • Women expect their husband to be a new and improved version of a best friend
        • It’s not the topic of discussion that is important but the sense of closeness, of a life shared, that emerges when people talk about their thoughts, feelings, and impressions
    • For men
      • Bonds between boys can also be intense
      • But they are based less on talking but more on doing things together
      • Men don’t assume that ‘talk’ is the ‘cement’ that binds relationship so…
          • Men don’t know what kind of talk women want
          • And they don’t miss it when it isn’t there
    • Boys’ group
      • Boys’ groups are larger, more inclusive, and more hierarchical so…
        • Avoid subordinate positions (so it appears like they don’t like to listen to women)
        • Some men really don’t like to listen because if they do this makes them feel one-down (like a child listening to elders or employee listening to a boss)
    • Misalignments
      • The impression of not listening results from misalignments in the mechanics of conversations.
      • Bruce Dorval’s study on same-sex talk shows that…
        • Girls/women talk to each other face-to-face
        • Men sat at angles to each other and looked elsewhere in the room, periodically glancing at each other.
        • E.g. lying down and covering eyes help in concentrating on what is being said
    • Topical alignment
      • Girls tend to talk at length about one topic
      • Boys tend to jump from one topic to another
        • Girls exchange stories about people they knew
        • Boys teased, told jokes, noticed things in the room and talked about finding games to play
        • 6th grade girls talked about problems with mutual friend
        • 6th grade boys talked about 55 different topics- none of which extended over more than a few turns
    • Grounds For Divorce
      • A woman went to an attorney, seeking advice on a divorce.
      • "Do you have grounds, Madam?" the lawyer asked. "Oh yes. More than I need. I have over six acres."
      • "I guess you didn't understand my question. Let me put it another way. Do you have a grudge?" "No, but we have a parking space," she replied.
      • "I'll try to be more explicit, Ma'am," said the attorney. "Does your husband beat you up?" "No, usually I get up long before he does."
      • Losing patience, the attorney asked, "Are you quite sure, absolutely sure, that you want a divorce?"
      • "I'm not the one who wants a divorce," she replied. "My husband does. He claims we don't communicate ."
    • Listening to body Language, p 233
      • Switching topics is another habit that give women the impression that men aren’t listening
        • Boys sprawled across their chairs with bodies parallel and eyes straight ahead rarely looking at each other
        • Boys dismiss each other’s problems e.g. ‘(drinking problem- was no big problem because ‘sometimes you’re funny when you’re off your butt.’
        • Girls respond to a friend’s problem by asking probing questions and expressing agreement and understanding
    • http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002101.html
      • Women perceive the cold response from male friends as belittling and unsupportive
      • But men don’t feel that way
      • “ You shouldn’t feel bad because your problems aren’t so bad.”
    • Listener-noise
      • Women make listener-noise when they listen to show that are really listening while men don’t
        • ‘ mhm’, ‘uhuh’, and ‘yeah’
      • Women expect a stream of noise
      • What about Taiwanese women? What sort of listener-noise do they make?
      • Men think that listener-noise is an overreaction or a sign of impatience
    • Women also…
      • Overlap and finish each other’s sentences
      • Men perceive this as an interruption, intrusion and lack of attention
    • Women assume…
      • That a conversationalist’s job is to express
          • Agreement
          • Support
      • Men see a conversationalist's job as
          • Pointing out the other side of an argument
      • This is heard by women as disloyalty and refusal to offer support
    • Fighting for Life
      • Walter Ong’s book
      • Men use ‘agonistic’ or ‘warlike’ oppositional formats to do almost anything thus discussion becomes debate, and conversation a competitive sport.
      • In contrast
      • Women see conversation as a ritual means of establishing rapport.
      • Men take it (women’s ritual troubles talk) literally
      • Women mistake men’s ritual challenges for real attack
    • The Sounds of Silence
      • Understanding the differences help us clarify why men and women have difference expectations about communication in marriage
      -on the guard to protect themselves from being put down and pushed around -you can talk about feelings and thoughts and still be loved -the need to show intelligence -greatest fear is being pushed away -talk maintains independence and status -marriage is an act of closeness -live in hierarchical world -talk creates intimacy Men Women
    • Conceptual Framework
      • Male-Female talk should be seen as cross-cultural communication to:
      • Understand the problem
      • Forge solutions without blaming either party
      • Accept the difference
      • Decision to divorce/separate will be based on realistic expectations
    • Conflicts -> Cross-cultural understanding -> begins at home http://www.newmoonilluminations.com/CatNap.htm
    • Food for thought
      • Good conversation is characterized by the following:
      • (1) using it to inform and investigate each other,
      • (2) focusing attention on topics of mutual interest,
      • (3) balancing the conversation so both have an equal opportunity to talk, and
      • (4) giving each other undivided attention while talking to each other.
      • Conversation fails to meet this need when
      • (1) demands are made,
      • (2) disrespect is shown,
      • (3) one or both become angry, or
      • (4) when it is used to dwell on mistakes of the past or present.
      • Unless conversation is mutually enjoyable, a couple is better off not to talk to each other at all. An unpleasant conversation not only fails to meet the emotional need, but it also makes it less likely that there will be an opportunity to meet the need in the future.
      • Men and women don't have too much difficulty talking to each other during courtship. That's a time of information-gathering for both partners. Both are highly motivated to discover each other's likes and dislikes, personal background, current interests and plans for the future.
      • But after marriage, many women find that the man who would spend hours talking to her on the telephone, now seems to have lost all interest in talking to her, and spends his spare time watching television or reading.
    • Find a solution to the dilemma
      • If your need for conversation was fulfilled during courtship, you also expect it to be met after marriage. And if you fell in love because your need for conversation was met by your spouse during courtship,
      you risk falling out of love if that need is not met during marriage.
    • http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002101.html
    • Other Interesting Readings
      • http://www.stanford.edu/~eckert/linguist156/Syll/6.2