Deborah Tannen You Just Don T Understand Summary

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Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor with a research specialty in conversational styles at Georgetown University, illustrated the Genderlect Styles theory, the idea that discourse differences between male and female are two distinct cultural dialects. The origins of this theory comes from Tannen’s book You Just Don’t Understand, which looks at explaining why men and women talk past one another and strongly believes that male and female conversation is cross-cultural communication. Genderlect is not originally from Tannen, but nonetheless it is able to sum up her overall idea that masculine and feminine styles of communication should be seen as two different conversational styles and not be pinned against each other as inferior/superior ways of speaking.…show more content…
When Tannen looked at gender discourse differences in telling a story, she found that men tend to tell more stories than women and the stories that men tell are usually centered around a joke. She explained that this is the case because jokes are a way to negotiate status. Tannen found when comparing feminine and masculine styles in listening, women tend to acknowledge more when listening to someone talk with nodding there head and interrupting with responses to support what they are saying whereas men don’t do those things which gives the impression when talking to females that they are not listening. When comparing female and males styles of discourse in asking questions, Tannen found that women ask questions to create a connection whereas men don’t ask questions because they feel as if they don’t need help and won’t ask for it unless they are desperate. When looking at conflict, Tannen found that women are less comfortable with conflict compared to men because if effects the connection that women

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