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Are Women Really More Polite Than Men?

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on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Are Women Really More Polite Than Men?

There ARE gender differences in brain structures --NOT related to politeness behavior (Anne F. 1992).
Gender and Politeness
Are Women Really More Polite Than Men?
Women are perceived to be more polite than men.
Awesome group led by the beloved TA
Steffi HU!
False sampling in Holmes' model.
Gender Performance.

Communities of Practice.

Many people believe that women are more polite than men. However, is this always true? Are women just better than men when it comes to politeness? Today, we are going to explore this topic via different perspectives.
More positive politeness.
Society associates speech style with either gender, but people of either sex should always be able to perform "different linguistic gender identities" whenever and wherever they want (Bayles, 2009).
Communities of practice make politeness based on an individual’s circumstances.
Individual Differences in Brain Structure.
Positive politeness is more outwardly polite than negative politeness.
Women tend to be more concerned with living together in harmony than getting work done.
Women tend to speak more formally.
Simi's argument seems sound but it is based heavily on Holmes' conclusion.
Then what if Holmes' conclusion is inaccurate?
Unfair samples in the model.
White middle class women v.s White working class men (Mills, 2003).
Confounding Variables.
Inaccurate models lead to misleading conclusions.
Is Politeness really gender-determined?
Individual differences lead to individual differences in politeness behavior (DeYoung, 2010).
Social behavior is not determined solely by their biological sex.
Politeness is about optimization of communication.

People are free to choose the best style of speech according to different situations to show politeness.

Politeness can only be determined on an individual basis due to different communities of practice,
Communities of practice “are evaluated in a slightly different way within each CoP [community of practice]” (Mills 2011).
No, they are equally polite!
Bayles, R. (2009). An investigation into politeness, small talk and gender. Leading Undergraduate Work in English Studies, 1(2008-2009), 10-17.
Deyoung, G., Hirsh, B. & Shane, S. (2010). Brain Structure and the Big Five. In (pp. 821-822). : Psychological Science.
Freed, A. F. (1996). Language and gender research in an experimental setting. Rethinking language and gender research: Theory and practice, 54-76.
Mills, Sara (2011). Communities of Practice and Politeness. In J. Coates (Eds.). How and Why Are Women More Polite: Some Evidence from a Mayan Community (pp.484-494). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Mills, S. (2003). Gender and politeness. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Simi Fagbemi,
Jack Li, Martel
Isabella Yang, McMurtry
Damon Jiang, McMurtry
Meghan Patterson, Jones
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