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Men And Women In Conversation Deborah Tannen Analysis

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Corinne LaLonde Professor Creighton CWP 102 8am March 8th, 2018 Critical Analysis of Men and Women in Conversation is Cross-Cultural Communication The issue of differences between men and women in conversation has been a subject of overreaching research, with various scholars in the subject of linguistics providing different views and conclusions. The current paper criticizes an excerpt of Deborah Tannen’s work, Men and Women in Conversation is Cross-Cultural Communication. In the exceprt of her work, Deborah Tannen, a professor of Linguistics, addresses linguistic differences as they relate to intimate male and female relations (Githens). While Tannen contributes significant literature to the study of linguistics, his work lacks clarity and…show more content…
The fact that gender-differentiated socialization exists in society cannot be disputed. Equally, to find that differences do emerge with regard to speaking styles between men and women is not surprising. However, by failing to associate gender arrangements to the power arrangements that they promote and enforce is naïve in an intellectual way. Considering the highly integrated lives of the American men and women, to assign full-fledged cultural status to patterns that emerge out of socialization is of doubtful validity. Besides, Tannen moves from the initial premise that boys and girls grow up in two distinct cultures, which is a disputed fact, to the questionable claim that problems with communication between adult males and females are equivalent to other types of cross-cultural miscommunication. With this view, her final conclusion that the issue of miscommunication between men and women emerges from our lack of familiarity with gender specific styles of communication is founded on biased, fictional information. The anecdotal nature of most of the material that Deborah Tannen uses is another area of weakness for her work. She uses her personal stories and individually conducted experiments to make sweeping generalizations. For instance, that women talk too much, women build relations, and that men do not overlap, or interrupt, while communicating and are good at the written English.…show more content…
However, the excerpt of her book lacks clarity, has multiple unfair biases, and is filled with many contradictions. The author completely neglects other social factors such as race, class, and ethnicity and their crucial interplay with gender, and treats gender and sex as unidimensional categories and the most significant features of human lives, even though they are not. The book exhibits poor transition between claims, and makes use of anecdotal material/ information to support these claims. Overall, there is a need for comprehensive research to be conducted in the field of cross-cultural communication. Such research should observe human conversation and be sensitive to social factors such as race, class, and ethnicity. Because of this, Tannen’s argument in this excerpt is valid, however it is
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