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Deficit, dominance and difference theory

Language and gender KS5 lesson

Georgina Edwards

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Deficit, dominance and difference theory

Do the following statements fit the deficit model or not? Women have smaller vocabularies - Otto Jespersen

Men use more taboo language - Robin Lakoff

Only men develop new language - Otto Jespersen

Women lack a sense of humour - Robin Lakoff

People clean up language using verbal hygiene - Deborah Cameron

What else affects the way we speak other than gender?
Knowledge of / relationship with participants
Location of conversation
What can you remember about Lakov's
theory about women's language?
Do you think this is a deficit, dominance or difference model? O'Barr and Atkins studied courtroom cases for 30 months, observing a broad spectrum of witnesses. They examined the witnesses for the ten basic speech differences between men and women that Robin Lakoff proposed. O'Barr and Atkins discovered that the differences that Lakoff and others supported are not necessarily the result of being a woman, but of being powerless...O'Barr and Atkins concluded from their study that the quoted speech patterns were “neither characteristic of all women nor limited only to women”. The women who used the lowest frequency of women's language traits had an unusually high status (according to the researchers). They were well-educated professionals with middle class backgrounds. O'Barr and Atkins 1980 Why might Lakoff's research be less relevant today?
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