Essay on Women And Female Students Use Language Differently

Essay on Women And Female Students Use Language Differently

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Men and women are not made equal. At least this is what Deborah Tannen believes in her article “How Male and Female Students Use Language Differently.” Tannen is a professor at Georgetown University, and is often highly revered for her work in linguistics. The article is meant to show the differences in communication learned at an early age by boys and girls. However, in the article, Tannen shows lack of direction with thought and evidence that should be apparent in the work of someone on the collegiate level.
Tannen attempts to use the credibility of sociologists and anthropologists to strengthen her argument. Janet Lever, Marjorie Harness Goodwin, and Donna Eder research the topic of conversation and debate in regards to how men and women’s outlooks form different styles of both. First, she describes that as females developed, they use the language to communicate with each other, to whisper and “the telling of secrets, the fact and the way they talk to each other, that makes them best friends” (Tannen 345). In contrast males are often at ease public speaking compared to females. Boys tend to gather and communicate in larger groups and create a hierarchy in their groups of play. Tannen declares that men are “expected to use language to seize center stage: by exhibiting their skill, displaying their knowledge, and challenging and resisting challenge” (Tannen 346). This creates a world where men are more comfortable in group settings rather than smaller tight nit groups. While she states that women cannot handle large group situations of discussion. Her findings are based on children, yet it is almost patronizing to take these traits and generalize them for all adults, as Tannen does in her article. While children to do learn beh...


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...p in groups of many people talking, is being compared to the oppression of things like, women having their heads cut off from speaking up, as just one example. Oppression is something that effects many cultures and people every day, and is not something to be taken lightly as Tannen has done in her article.
Tannen attempted to use child generalizations on adults, creating an argument that lacks true evidence and believability. Along with the use of a personal experiment that does not use enough scientific theory to be concluded as accurate, the article is left with a lack of direction and evidence. While her point of view is interesting, yet the focus on the language and cultural differences diminishes her original ideas. She manages to make women as a whole look very badly in the eyes of the reader and doesn’t fairly represent all aspects of classroom discussion.

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Essay on Women And Female Students Use Language Differently

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