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Ethnic Style in Male-Female Conversation - Research Paper Example

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This paper "Ethnic Style in Male-Female Conversation" focuses on the misunderstanding that stems from different degrees of indirectness used in conversation. Such experiences are more common among male and female belonging to different society, culture or having the different linguistic background. …
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Ethnic Style in Male-Female Conversation
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"Ethnic Style in Male-Female Conversation"

Download file to see previous pages Only then two people communicating with each other can understand each other with the shared identity. On the other hand, where there is lack of a common chord in conversational strategies, feelings of disharmony, not being understood are created. In this way, conversational style becomes a major element of ethnicity. Every language has distinct words to interpret specific objects which are different in other languages. However, signalling intentions and attitudes depend on personal styles of individuals. The conversational style is “both a consequence and indicator of ethnicity” (Tannen, 1982, p.230).
Indirectness which is a roundabout way of saying a particular thing is a stamp of one’s distinct style and personality which changes according to situations. It means not explicitly stating what one wants and the meaning is inferred by the listener based on previous conversations and expectations and also from “culturally agreed upon meanings that are associated with particular expressions” (Tannen, 2006, p.361). This way of expressing through conversation is a means of satisfying the coexisting and conflicting positive and negative forces. For instance, when one wants to be left alone, he will not say it directly as he will not want to cause displeasure to others. He will apply the strategy for an indirect way of saying the same. Indirectness is a manner in which one can fulfil the purpose of both rapport and defensiveness. By rapport, it means a subtle way of expressing one’s desire and getting it fulfilled. It means the desire expressed in a way that it is understood without being explained. Defensiveness means the strategic way of saying a particular thing which keeps the door open for reneging if the conversation is not accepted favourably by others. For instance, one can always say later on “I never said that” or “that isn’t what I meant” (Tanner, 1982, p.218). Since conversational strategies and degrees of indirectness often vary with cultural differences between individuals, therefore misunderstandings even from simple conversations can emerge more in cross-cultural communication.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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