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Gender Issues in Workplace Groups: Effects of Gender and Communication Style on Social Influence

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Popular writing on gender and language typically makes the claim that women and men differ in their communication styles. For example, Deborah Tannen in her books, You Just Don't Understand (1990) and Talking from 9 to 5 (1994), characterized women's conversations as 'rapport-talk,' language that maintains social connection, and men's conversations as 'report-talk,' language that asserts male status and authority. In the academic literature, however, there is considerable debate as to whether there are gender differences in communication, or if there are, whether the differences are large enough to be of any practical importance. This may be due, in part, to the tremendous breadth of research in this field, which has examined gender differences in syntax, semantics, non-verbal behaviours, the use of particular words or expressions and other aspects of communication. Nevertheless, popular books about gender and language resonate with everyday beliefs about how men and women communicate, suggesting that gender differences may exist. Indeed, research reveals that cultural stereotypes concerning gender often do reflect actual differences between men and women (Hall and Carter, 1999). Additionally, the literature on gender stereotypes reveals that, in general, people consider men to be more agentic than women and women to be more communal than men (for example Williams and Best, 1990), stereotypes that are consistent with Tannen's popular view of gender differences in language.
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  • Added: February, 08th 2010
  • Reads: 5832
  • Downloads: 400
  • File size: 943.05kb
  • Pages: 15
  • Tags: gender, communication style, social influence, language, gender stereotypes
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  • Username: shinta
  • Name: shinta
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by bketeyian on February 15th, 2010 at 07:11 pm
Although there is truth to this gender difference approach, there are significant individual deviations from the "norm." The communication styles framework at www.communicationstyles.us offers a way to understand and account for individual differences, regardless of gender. It is very practical and useful.
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