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Conversation between the sexes: Deborah Tannen

In my opinion both styles of communication have positive and negative aspects. It only gets problematic if men decode women's conversational style according to their rules and if women look at men's way to communicate from their point of view. This leads to striking misunderstandings between the sexes and to wrong interpretations of what has been said. "If women speak and hear a language of connection and intimacy, while men speak and hear a language of status and independence, then communication between men and women can be like cross-cultural communication, prey to a clash of conversational styles" (Tannen, 1992, p. ).Basically, men pursue a style of conversational interaction based on power, while women pursue a style based on solidarity and support. female communication obeys other rules than male communication, and men and women therefore have other expectations of a conversation. The sexes differ in their opinions of what constitutes a good conversation, of how conversation should progress, of how important it is to let a current speaker finish his term and of how substantial it is to support the interlocutor actively. In the following passages I will concretely describe some means of communication which imply something different to men than to women and consequently are often interpreted differently depending on the sex. Questions, for example, are used more frequently by women than by men and women often employ them as a method to facilitate and maintain the flow of communication. Men, nevertheless, interpret also such questions as a request for information whereupon they like to give detailed answers, as in their eyes those who know more have a higher status. Women then often wait in vain for a question posed to them which, from their viewpoint, would balance the conversation and indicate interrelation. Furthermore women make an effort to respond to what their interlocutor has said before and then forge links to a similar top...

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Conversation between the sexes: Deborah Tannen . (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 14:58, October 25, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/68452.html