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The Relativity of Linguistic Strategies : Rethinking Power a

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Miss Viner

on 6 March 2014

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Transcript of The Relativity of Linguistic Strategies : Rethinking Power a

Linguistic Strategy 5
Published in 1994
"In some ways, we are all the same. But in some ways we are all different. Communication is a double bind in the sense that anything we say to honor our similarities violates our difference, and anything we say to our difference violates our sameness"

Conley, O’barr, and Lind claim that women’s language is powerless and that they don’t feel the authority to make demands.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Deborah Tannen
Power and Solidarity
Linguistic Strategics 3 and 4
The Relativity of Linguistic Strategics
Brown and Gilman's research on address terms


English Equivalent being First or Last name basis

Power entails solidarity

Relation between the one who holds the power and the subordinate

Man in the 3 Piece Suit and the Knapsack
Rather than something
another, it is something

Context and Style are needed to identify a power play or attempt at solidarity

Two women leave one building to enter another and a man joins them, when the man joins them one of the women asks him “Where’s your coat?” and the man replies with snark “Thanks mom.”

The man took her rapport as her nagging instead of perhaps her just expressing a friendly concern, which exemplifies the difference between how men and women communicate or interpret phrases.


Friend picking up the tab all the time.

Friendly or Power play?
It is claimed by researchers that men typically will increase volubility to show power over women in interaction

Silence can hold more power than Volubility

Three wives were interviewed and affirmed that their husbands said very little but remained very dominant
“Fear of Flying”

Whoever raises the most topics in a conversation is not always the most dominant

Style differences can also give the impression of dominance
Power and Solidarity are paradoxical and produced by the same linguistic means
Linguistic strategies of communication
interruption, volubility versus silence, indirectness, topic raising, and adeversativeness


Listener knows already
Speakers desire to be able to retract an idea/statement


Cooperative Overlap
Overlap aversant
Not Appropriate

Starting with the History...

Power and Solidarity are "“bought with the same linguistic currencies, and although both are paradoxical, they usually entail the other.”
Silence vs. Volubility and Topic Raising
Strategies 1 and 2
Rethinking Power and Solidarity in Gender Dominance
The Relativity of Linguistic Strategies : Rethinking Power and Solidarity in Gender Dominance
In Conclusion...
“Attempts to understand what goes on between women and men in conversation are muddled with ambiguity and polysemy of power and solidarity. The same linguistic means can accomplish either, and every utterance combines elements of both. Scholars, however, like individuals, are likely to see only one and not the other, like the picture that cannot be seen for what it is- simultaneously a chalice and two faces-but can only be seen as one or the other.”
Context and Style!
*The strategies used in finding these results can produce completely opposite findings*
Adversativeness: Verbal Aggression and Conflict
are more
than women to bond and form solidarity through conflicts,

form bonds and solidify friendships through exclusion of others and cooperative efforts.

*there are always exceptions to this! Context and Style is VERY important*
Full transcript