Gender, Power, and Communication in Human Relationships

By Pamela J. Kalbfleisch; Michael J. Cody | Go to book overview

In summary, we found little evidence favoring expectations for language use that are based on the power-discrepancy hypothesis. That is, the men and women in problem solving pairs in this study used language that differed from what has been described in speculative discussion of gender, power, and language (e.g., Lakoff, 1973, 1975, 1990). Moreover, transcriptions of their interactions yielded ratings that demonstrated dissimilar kinds of, as opposed to different levels of, perceived power. Also inconsistent with power-based explanations, these women failed to converge toward the language behavior of the men.

The most succinct generalization of our findings is that the language style of women in problem solving interactions is both powerful and feminine. These women apparently did not feel that they had to give up one to get the other. These findings suggest that in any relationship between women and men, both should be aware that they are using different linguistic styles, but that these styles may be similarly effective in exerting influence. Implications are that women do not have to choose between using effective methods of influencing decision making and appearing feminine. In addition, men should not assume that women are any less effective because of their different linguistic style. Disparity of power may exist in the language behavior of men and women in other age groups, in other communication contexts, or those having other relationships. Indeed, Fitzpatrick and Mulac address this issue in this volume, chapter 9, by examining older individuals interacting in two different relational contexts. Nevertheless, what we found in the study reported in the present chapter can only be viewed as failing to support the hypothesis that the differences in men's and women's language are explained by differences in their social power and their intent to exercise that power.


REFERENCES

Bales R. ( 1950). Interaction process analysis: A method for the study of small groups. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Balswick J., & Avertt C. P. ( 1977). "Differences in expressiveness: Gender, interpersonal orientation, and perceived parental expressiveness as contributing factors". Journal of Marriage and the Family, 39, 121-127.

Beck R. ( 1978). "Sex differentiated speech codes". International Journal of Women's Studies, 1, 566-572.

Berger C. R., & Bradac J. J. ( 1982). Language and social knowledge: Uncertainty in interpersonal relations. London: Arnold.

Bradac J. J., & Mulac A. ( 1984a). "Attributional consequences of powerful and powerless speech styles in a crisis-intervention context". Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 3, 1-19.

Bradac J. J., & Mulac A. ( 1984b). "A molecular view of powerful and powerless speech styles: Attributional consequences of specific language features and communicator intentions". Communication Monographs, 51, 307-319.

Bradac J. J., Mulac A., & House A. ( 1988). "Lexical diversity and magnitude of convergent versus divergent style-shifting: Perceptual and evaluative consequences". Language and Communication. 8, 213-228.

Bradac J. J., Mulac A., & Thompson S. A. (in press). "Men's and women's use of intensifiers and hedges in problem-solving interaction: Molar and molecular analyses". Research on Language and Social Interaction.

-101-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gender, Power, and Communication in Human Relationships
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 366

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.