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Gender 2Chapter 5:- Language= cultural views of gendero Most complex symbol systemo Reflects and reinforces cultural views and values- Male generic Languageo Chairman, mailman, mankindo Claims include men and women- Spotlighting- “women mayor”o Calls attention to sec and not qualification- Women in societyo Women expect to change names when married Or at least hyphenationo Matriarchal- Ruled by women Some rename themselves based on matriarchy - Awarenesso Language shapes awareness of what is important and helps is define realityo When something named, easier to recognize it, think about it, stop ito Some experiences had no name in language for awhile Sexual harassment Date rape Marital rape- Language organizes Gender perceptiono Stereotype: generalization about entire class of phenomena Women: emotional and weak Men: rational and strongo Polarized thinking: absolute opposites Wrong/right- Language evaluates gendero Devalues females and femininity Women are immature or juvenile (girl, baby) Diminutive suffixes (majorette) Women blamed for same behavior men do (slut/stud)- Language shapes how we think if ourselveso Language change over time “fat”o Androgyny As alternative to feminine-masculine gender binary - Verbal communicationo Male people socialized in masculine wayso Female people socialized in feminine wayso Important not to generalize but some patterns- Gender Speech Communitieso Speech Community: People who had common understandings of communication goals Interpretation of communicationo Males and Females socialized into masculine and feminine speech communities- Lessons of Children’s Playo Boys games: Large Groups, competitive, clear goals, distinct rules, and roleso Emphasize 4 aspects of communication cultivating competition and individuality: Use communication to asserts ideas, opinions, and identity To achieve a specific goal  To get others’ attention  To maintain control of the attentiono Girls Games: small groups or pairs with no clear rules of roles 4 aspects of communication that cultivate interpersonal relationships- Use communication to create and sustain relationships- Communication to establish equality- Communication include others- Shows caring o Gendered Comm Practices Feminine speech communities: communication as tool for establishing sustaining interpersonal rel- Communication in feminine speech communitieso Foster connections o Equalizes status o Shows support for otherso Does conversational “maintenance work” o Demonstrates responsivenesso Shares personal informationo Is often tentative (using verbal hedges and tag questions) Masculine: communication to establish goals, extent control, preserve independence, entertain, and enhance status- Communication in masculine speech communitieso Establishes status and controlo Used to accomplish an instrumental objectiveo Grains and maintains conversational commando Direct and assertiveo Often abstract (rather than personal)o Minimal response cues and less emotionally responsive Gender-Linked Language effect- Gender is not static- Gender is highly dynamic- depends on context- Masculine or feminine style of speech affected by:o Topico Speaker Statuso Conversational Partnerso Significance of gender to conversation - Masculineo Not always offering sympathyo Want to solve problemso Direct and impersonalo Tell story in linear chronological wayo Feel feminine com fail to move to pointo Masculine comm. Tend to talk about relationship when problemo Masculine comm. Nervous annoyed when relationship partner wants to “talk about us”o Public speaking viewed as standard- Feminineo Showing support o Establish connectiono Giving sympathy o Want to talk about problemso Empathy and emotional supporto Tell stories in less structured formatso Feel masculine comm. overlook relationship o Feminine communicators comforted by relationship talko Feminine communication judged by standards contrary to preferred communicationChapter 6- Functions of Nonverbal Communicationo Supplement verbal communication Repeat or contradict verbal messages Complement or emphasize verbal message Replace verbal messageo Regulate Interaction Signaling that we want to speak or end ito Establish relationship level Responsiveness - Being attentive to others- Include inflection, eye contact, body posture Liking- Women use more nonverbal signaling liking Power/control- Vocal qualities, touch, use of space Artifacts - Artifact: personal object expressing identityo Blue/pink baby blankets- Gender is tied too Clothingo Colors- Tied to cultural context Proximity: use of space- Designates who is important/privileged- Patriarchal systems: women can’t own space- Women in the householdo Have few spaceso Tend to borrow spaceso Only occupy spaces where they do things for others Haptics and Kinesics- Parents touch daughters more often and more gently- Boys associate touch with control and power- Women: tilt heads, makes body smaller, smile- Men: using large gestures, take more space Paralanguage- Vocal cues that accompany verbal comm.o Women: higher pitch and softer volume o Men: lower pitch and greater volume- Socialization can explain gendered patternso Cues signaling care and deference: womeno Cues signaling assertiveness: men Physical Appearance- Men and Women: pressure to meet societal criteriao Ideal masculinity: buff, muscular bodieso Ideal femininity: slim- Women: concerns for appearance and self-worth o Weight concerns stat early- Culture, gender, and weight are connectedo Interpreting nonverbal comm. Are there gender-related differences in decoding nonverbal behaviors - Women good with facials cues- However men notice angry faster Both biological and social factors - Biological women and more dev. Right hemisphere- Social location: women and standpoint Women’s nonverbal behaviors emphasize community and men’s emphasize agency Research suggest women expected to act more dependent and men act more independent - Western society has bias towards masculine qualities- Cultural beliefs are changeableo Expectations Effort to understand, respect, and appreciate others’ nonverbalcommunication on their own terms By recognizing and attempting to understand others’ patterns of nonverbal behaviors:- Increase appreciation for individual differences and lessrigidly restrict expectations for nonverbal behaviors - May provide a


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KSU COMM 35912 - Chapter 5

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