Deborah Tannen Can T We Talk Analysis

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Deborah Tannen is a researcher on the social interactions between people. In her essays “Sex, Lies, and Conversations” and “Can’t We Talk?” Tannen addresses the conversational habits of men and women to analyze their interactions, looking for where problems in relationships begin. The two essays are similar because of their theme, diction, and tone.

In Deborah Tannen’s “Sex, Lies, and Conversation,” Tannen uses personal stories and scientific research to support her claim that conversational misunderstandings between men and women stem from how each gender views conversation. Tannen states that because men and women interact in groups primarily composed of their respective genders during childhood, misunderstandings between the genders are a result of conversational differences as children (Tannen 424). Tannen’s theme throughout the piece is that neither gender is right or wrong in misunderstandings, but rather the differences in how each gender views the other’s conversational habits are the
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Tannen states that men are more likely to address, fix, and move on from a problem, whereas women are more likely to be sympathetic and helpful on an emotional level. Tannen believes men and women have misunderstandings because of their different approaches to conversation, making misunderstandings misinterpretations, rather than “right or wrong” scenarios. Tannen uses rhetorical phrases to explore the intricacies of conversation more in depth. Tannen also uses the phrases, “how” and “why,” to probe further into scenarios of conversations (Tannen). Tannen’s usage of stories create the tone of “Can’t We Talk?”, by making Tannen’s tone informative yet uncomplicated. Tannen’s piece analyzes how men and women differ in their conversational skills, and how most instances of miscommunication are because of these
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