[ANTH 1006] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 56 pages long Study Guide!

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ANTH 1006
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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A Cultural Approach to Male-Female Miscommunication
Within a given culture, conversations rely on unspoken understanding about tone
of voice, visual cues, silence, minimal response, and a variety of the other subtle
conventions
“Mm hmm” = women listening, men agreeing
Differences in the speaking patterns of American men and women
Cross ethnic communication can be applied to cross sex communication too
Cultural difference and miscommunication
The Problem of Cross Sex Conversation
Men and women attempt to interact as equals in friendly cross sex conversations
that do not play the same role in interaction, even without flirting
Women’s Features
Women have a greater tendency to ask questions
Doing more of the routine “shitwork” involved in maintaining routine social
interaction (doing more to facilitate flow of conversation)
Demand or encourage responses from their fellow speakers
More actively engaged
Positive minimal responses
Strategy of silent protest after being interrupted or have received a delayed
minimal response
Use pronouns “you” and “we” (explicitly acknowledge existence of other
speakers)
Men’s Features
Men are likely to interrupt speech of women
Likely to challenge or dispute their partner's’ utterances
Ignore comments of the other speaker (offer no response or acknowledgement at
all) → delayed minimal response or respond unenthusiastically
Mechanisms for controlling the topic of conversation
Make direct declarations of fact or opinion, “statements of focus and directives”
Explanations Offered
Social power
Men’s dominance in conversation parallels their dominance in society
Seen as part of single social political system
Interruptions and topic control as male displays of powers
Differential power of men and women is crucial, specific mechanism
through which it enters conversation is sex-role definition
Sex- roles serve to obscure the issue of power for participants
Norms of appropropriate behavior for women and men serve to
give power and interactional control to men while keeping it from
women
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Social acceptance → women cannot exert control and must
actually support men in their control
Act like a lady- unassertive and insecure
Fits with personalities they develop as a consequences of sex role
requirements
An Alternative Explanation: Sociolinguistic Subcultures
Cultural differences
Conceptions of friendly conversations, their rules for engaging in it, and
their rules for interpreting it
Americans come from different sociolinguistic subcultures
Hard to avoid miscommunication
Speech is a means for dealing with social and psychological situations
Spanish village - women gossip, men negotiate business
Sexually differentiated communicative cultures
Interethnic Communication
Systematic problems developed in communication when speakers of different
speech cultures interact
these problems are the result of differences in systems of conversational
inference and the cues for signalling speech acts and speaker’s intent
Difference in cues
Miscommunication about question asked, argument made, rude or polite,
emphasizing, or emotion
Seen as personality clashes or racial stereotypes not just
miscommunication
Seen as individuals wrongly interpreting cues according to their own rules
The Interpretation of Minimal Responses
Mhhmm
Women listening
Men agreeing
Women use it more often because women are listening more often than men are
agreeing
Could lead to misunderstanding
Can’t understand women/men don’t listen
Sources of Different Cultures
By the time we are adults we possess a wide variety of rules for interacting in
different situations
Learned during age of 5 to 15 - interact primarily with own sex
Male tendency toward direct requests and information giving
Female tendency toward compliance
Exaggerate differences in behavior between boys and girls
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