Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

“Who does the talking here?”

1 Comment

“Who does the talking here?” by Deborah Tannen is an insightful new look into how men and women communicate. I think we have all heard at least a thousand times in our lives that women talk more than men, and the reason given is typically because women enjoy talking and men do not. I really liked that this article takes a different approach and I found the results to be quite impressive. Tannen begins by discussing a famous study which reiterated that women tend to talk more than men. To prove their theory they counted words. However, Tannen maintains that the difference was statistically insignificant. Instead men and women actually talk about the same amount, but go about it in different manners. Men will usually talk more in a public setting while contrastingly, women typically initiate conversation within the home, a more private setting. To go along with this, Tannen recognizes that men and women speak differently. Men for instance most often speak in “report” talk and women communicate through “rapport” talk. So, men will speak about more general things, and rely facts and information well. While, women include more personal feelings in their discussions and often build their relationships through them as well. Therefore, it is really not fair to ask the question who talks more but instead to look at the settings and contexts of conversations.

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One thought on ““Who does the talking here?”

  1. You articulated this better than I did in class!

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