The Muted Group Theory

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Many contemporary feminists theories and models fail to explain women’s discourse in society within the context of communication. This discourse is due to the language we use because it is male oriented and is oppressive to women. For us to study communication as it pertains to gender, the muted group theory should be explored. British anthropologist, Edwin Ardner, first introduced muted group theory and was further studied by Cheris Kramarae, a professor in women’s studies. Muted group theory comes from ethnology, which is the study of people within different cultures and their relationships with each other. In society, minorities are silenced by the majority groups and as a result, cannot speak up for themselves about issues they feel are…show more content…
These positions give each a different experience and perceptions in life and society. Men have gained political power within society and have used this to suppress women’s ideas and thoughts from achieving public acknowledgment (Muted Group Theory). Due to the male-bias language, women have to convert their thoughts, experiences, and meanings into male language for them to be heard and acknowledged. Due to these assumptions, women have a hard time expressing themselves and making their voices heard in society. Women can understand men when they are expressing themselves, but men cannot comprehend women, which frustration for women because they are not being understood in the way they would like. Men are more likely to create new words. However, when women do they do so to create something unique and meaningful to women (Muted Group Theory). The claims from muted group theory do not come about because of biology; they are from the fear from men that if they listen to women, then they run the risk of losing their power position in…show more content…
Muted group gives the illusion that any attempt of women to speak is blocked or made to feel their views are undervalued and disparaged (Puckett). It also portrays men as controlling, arrogant, and causes exclusion for women in society. In today’s culture, this is quite often not the case because women have been able to explain themselves and can communicate in independent methods. If we look at the English language, it has only been within the last couple of decades where we have seen strides in the English language to reflect jobs that once primarily pertained to one gender and now refers to a person regardless of their gender. A policeman has become the police officer, the fireman is now the fire officer, and an actress is now referred to as an actor. Nonetheless, there is a long way to go for the English language to become gender-neutral. When there is a lack of gender-neutral words then most falls back to treating everyone as if they were

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