Gender Language and Power - Essay Example

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Gender Language and Power Introduction Over the years claims have been made that both males and females scientifically differ in how they use language. Males and females both have different roles to play in the society, the society assumes that males are quite dominating when it comes to usage of language and women are exercising a subordinate role when they use language…
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Gender Language and Power
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"Gender Language and Power"

Download file to see previous pages Body Various theorists have focused on how males and females differ in the usage of language, one such theory is the Dominance Approach, and this approach has figured out that the difference between language usage of males and females is caused due to the difference between the degree of power experienced by males and females. The approach states that women exhibit lack of power in their speech and they use language in accordance to the subordinate role expected from them by the society, where as males use language too clearly exhibit power and they clearly reflect the role of superiority assigned to them by the society. Robin Lakoff was one of the early researchers to determine the difference between the usage of language exhibited by both genders and the research even proved that this imbalance is caused due to difference in authority. Lackoff identified that the language used my females is consisted of characteristics that exhibits empathy, lack of swear words that can really hurt, very polite words, words that exhibit intensity, words that contain emptiness, words that request for opinion from others, opinions that lack affirmation. Words and phrases such as: oh my god, extremely beautiful, isn’t it the best? kind off, great performance. Lackoffs observation of how females use language clearly exhibits that women lack confidence. According to Lakoff’s observation, the society is dominated by males and in this society, women are considered as subordinates to males and thus the lack of authority in their speech is expected by the society and same characteristics are even expected by women while they conduct behaviors in social settings (WEATHERALL, p.57, 2002). Dale Spender’s study even clearly state that society views females as a subordinate to males and the language used by females is dominated by the authority and superiority of males and this is majorly witness able in male dominated society (CHRISTIE, p.121, 2000). Recent studies have linked language usage of both the genders with the orientation of relationship, rather than authority and dominance. These studies have concluded that males use language and speech to transfer and receive information, where as females use language to conduct the process of interacting with others. The way males and females interact with same gender or different gender even depends on the groups they joined in their early life as kids. These studies further suggest that males and females use same body language or words with different meaning, for example males might nod their head while exhibiting acceptance and females might not to exhibit that they want to listen more or obtain more information. This approach is recognized as difference approach, this approach focuses on the different ways males and females use language. According to Tannen, conflict arises when males and females from different cultural backgrounds interact with each other as both the genders talk through their own cultural experience (LURIA, p.180, 2006). Tannen states that women use language in a way to create further connections and one the other hand males use language to exhibit their knowledge and abilities and to exhibit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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