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Women in Management - HK

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Sneha Roy

on 20 May 2014

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Transcript of Women in Management - HK

By: Sneha Roy, Sherry Duan,
Jane Si and Tel Zhang
Language and Gender
Theory Overview
Brief history on studies of language and gender
Language and dialect differences
Uncertainty and politeness
Conversational interactions
Speech functions
Attitudes to women's talk
Sexist language
Q & A ^_^
Women consistently used higher frequencies of standard (as opposed to vernacular) forms than men in the English of many cities.

Possible reasons:
- the role of women as child-
, women's social status was more dependent on appearances, including speech signals than men's.
- vernacular forms had connotations of masculinity
- convergent speech behavior
- vernacular speakers had more local network ties
Social Dialect Data
Lakoff (1973,1975, 1977)
Uncertainty & Politeness
Conversational Interactions
Pre-1970s 1970s 1980s 1990s
Brief Timeline of Language and Gender Studies
Saw the first wave of feminist movement.
Focus was on sexism in language.
Feminism at this stage was concerned with reaching equality for women through a change or revision in policies. Started in the USA, and slowly spread over to UK and other Western countries.
Robin Lakoff’s book “Language and Woman's Place” inspired 2 decades of research on the interaction of language and gender.
Lakoff’s theories were criticized for lack of empirical data.
Rise of the “Dominance” approach, whereby female sex is seen as subordinate.
John Gumperz used cross-cultural comparisons - developing the “difference” framework whereby language was studied through the differences between the sexes. Deborah Tannen crucial figure in furthering cross - cultural communication between women and men, popular theories include “status vs. support” and “advice vs. understanding.”
Deborah Cameron provided a provocative discussion of feminist theory through her books and study on language and gender.
Janet Holmes provided the most comprehensive overview of the field through her research, especially in politeness and uncertainty in men’s and women’s speech.
Language and Dialect
Linguistic features
Express uncertainty and lack of confidence
Hedging & Boosting devices
1. Men use stronger expletives than women
2. Women made finer color discriminations than men
Following investigations
stronger expletives
larger range of obscenities
finer colour discriminations
more tag questions, lexical hedges, and intensifiers
Attitudes to women's talk
Social variables: age, social class, and ethnic background.

Early studies
, middle class and female speech.
, solidarity rather
status, working class and masculine speech.

Recent studies
have mixed results, due to power-oriented,'charisma' and solidarity-oriented variables.
Three broad categories:

studies of so-called 'generic' structures

Descriptions of morphological marking processes and address and reference titles

Examinations of the semantic structures,
metaphors and images available to describe men and women.

Morphological processes, e.g. -ess, -ette, or -ine to signal 'female'.

More terms describing women (usually derogatorily) in terms of food, animals and objects than for men.

"He" and "men" used in ESL textbooks, children's reading books, dictionaries, newspapers, magazines and periodicals.
Sexist Language
- Developmental Patterns

- Adult Patterns

- Cross-cultural differences
Adult Patterns
Speech Functions
Comparisons of linguistic development of girls and boys

Reveals patterns in speech that seem to translate to adulthood

Reveals some cultural overlap, but also reveals cross-culture differences
What did the studies show?
Speech patterns not surprising considering effects of gender roles enforced during childhood
What did the studies show?
Some overlap in cultures
Others showed stark differences
Although most cultures seemed to view male's speech as the "norm" or have a more positive reason behind it
What did the studies show?
What are the features of interactional behavior?
Back-channeling devices
Intonations and timing
The relative amount of talk contributed
Backchannelling e.g. hmm, yeah,uh-huh
Interruption and overlap
The relative amount of talk contributed: Who do you think speaks more?
Stereotypes: Women speak politely.

Features of women's features (hedges and intensifiers) were perceived less
competent, attractive and credible.

Children gradually assimilate the society's stereotypes of women's and men's speech forms.
Theories vary in different cultures and environments
Research timeline helps see the constant evolution of language and gender
Research puts emphasis on different categories within the topic of "language and gender" (eg: sociolinguistic variety, societal status and power roles)
Language teachers: female students require careful attention & need to remove their own biases on language and gender when working with students

The image of women held by people
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