Deborah Tannen: Pursuit Of Knowledge And Hindering Women

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Natida Nivasnanda RHET 105-E3 Deborah Tannen (2015) claims that the standard classroom environment of active discussion cater and benefit to men and their “pursuit of knowledge” whilst hindering women (p.370). She identifies that women are predisposed to listen and are intimidated by men and their active participation. She states that males and females learn contrastingly. As well, Tannen argues that it is dependent of the majority of the class atmosphere that one’s learning behavior is determined. Tannen backs up her claims using her own experience and observations as a student, crafting and concluding her own experiment. She calls upon the conversation of changing class structure as well as the awareness of students and their role in…show more content…
She acknowledges a very specific aspect of women in “unrelated cultures” and their participation in “ritual laments” whereas men in these cultures do not (p.370). Tannen (2015) offered that “[men in unrelated cultures] have their own, very different verbal ritual: a contest, a war of words in which they view with each other to devise clever insults” (p.370). Her introduction of this new concept ties with her main claim that males and females communicate in different styles. Tannen offers a new perspective of her argument, mixing background into the conversation. Though she writes with an inkling of delving into the topic, she dismisses it in the next paragraph by going back to the “two styles in American conversation” (Tannen, 2015, p.370). She mentions race again in her paper, but this time in relevance to the experiment that took place in her graduate class. But like the last time, she does not go deeper into race. Tannen merely notes the race of the students alongside the gender. It was very disorganized and I did not understand why she mentioned the added factor if she was not going to comment on a new idea other than noting that race and culture…show more content…
She describes men (in unrelated cultures) as participants of “a war of words… to devise clever insults” (Tannen, 2015, p.370). Men “[attack] readings” while women “express their pain” (Tannen, 2015, p.370). Thus, she created a vulgar perspective for the side regarding men, while painting an over-sensitive standpoint for women. When I think about linguistics, I do not think of it was “a war” as Tannen wrote. Language in the aspect of Tannen’s excerpt is seen as something purely verbal, whereas war is regarded as negatively physical. War has connotation of violence and Tannen use of aggressive words is an attempt to persuade the reader by using disapproving language. If her main focus was to remain objective, then I would say her tone was inappropriate. But if her goal was to write with her passion and dedication apparent, then I would rethink and say her tone was less so. It can be summarized that Tannen does a poor job of persuading her readers. Men who read her excerpt must feel attacked, her explanations on their behavior in classroom settings angled to be distasteful. Conversely, women who read her excerpt must be offended, a blanket generalization spread across them to describe their habits interacting in

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