Deborah Tannen
 


 

Gender and
Conversational Interaction

Edited by Deborah Tannen

Oxford University Press, 1993

 

This volume gathers twelve papers about gender‑related patterns in conversational interaction. The theoretical thrust of the collection is anthropological and sociolinguistic: female and male styles are approached as "cultural" practices.  Beginning with Tannen's own essay arguing for the relativity of discourse strategies, the volume challenges facile generalizations about gender‑based styles and explores the complex relationship between gender and language use. The chapters, some previously unpublished and some classics in the field, address discourse across the lifespan, including preschool, junior high school, and adult interaction. They explore such varied discourse contexts as preschool disputes, romantic and sexual teasing among adolescent girls, cooperative competition in adolescent "girl talk," conversational storytelling, a faculty committee meeting, children in an urban black neighborhood at play, and a legal dispute in a Tenejapan village in Mexico. Two chapters review and evaluate the literature on key areas of gender‑related linguistic phenomena: interruption and amount of talk. Gender and Conversational Interaction will interest general readers as well as students and scholars in a variety of disciplines including linguistics, sociolinguistics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, women's studies, and communications.

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© 2009 Deborah Tannen