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Conversational Styles Deborah Tannen Essay

This revised edition of Deborah Tannen's first discourse analysis book, Conversational Style-first published in 1984-presents an approach to analyzing conversation that later became the hallmark and foundation of her extensive body of work in discourse analysis, including the monograph Talking Voices, as well as her well-known popular books You Just Don't Understand, That's Not What I Meant!, and Talking from 9 to 5, among others.

Carefully examining the discourse of six speakers over the course of a two-and-a-half hour Thanksgiving dinner conversation, Tannen analyzes the features that make up the speakers' conversational styles, and in particular how aspects of what she calls a 'high-involvement style' have a positive effect when used with others who share the style, but a negative effect with those whose styles differ. This revised edition includes a new preface and an afterword in which Tannen discusses the book's place in the evolution of her work.

Conversational Style is written in an accessible and non-technical style that should appeal to scholars and students of discourse analysis (in fields like linguistics, anthropology, communication, sociology, and psychology) as well as general readers fascinated by Tannen's popular work. This book is an ideal text for use in introductory classes in linguistics and discourse analysis.

Essay Men and Women: As Interpreted by Deborah Tannen

786 Words4 Pages

Did you know, “men and women talk differently because they are raised in something like two different cultures: a male culture from which young men learn to speak like men and a female culture in which young women learn to speak like women?”(Cooper and MacDonald 9). Well, not actually from two separate cultures, but the idea of men and women being opposites as pointed out in the opening. Deborah Tannen has made her theory that a male culture and female culture each exist, very popular with the human population and has written an extensive book on her theory.
To define these communication conundrums, Tannen discusses “rapport-talk” and “report-talk”. She defines “rapport-talk” as “For most women, the language of conversation is primarily…show more content…

The typical stereotypes of communication are that women talk more than men, that is not necessarily true. For example, Tannen states, “...another explanation is that men think women talk to much because they hear women talking in situations where men would not: on the telephone; or in social situations with friends, when they are not discussing topics that men find inherently interesting, or; like the couple at the women’s group, at home alone-in other words, in private speaking” (Cooper and MacDonald 11). Men and women have two different conversational styles, different ways of talking. They also have different ideas of what is important and what is not. For example, Tannen points out that the man thought it wasn’t important that his friend was getting married, but the woman had thought that it was important (Cooper and MacDonald 12).
In Tannen’s book, You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, she begins with the basis of her general idea: “Many years ago I was married to a man who shouted at me, "I do not give you the right to raise your voice to me, because you are a woman and I am a man. This was frustrating, because I knew it was unfair. But I also knew just what was going on. I ascribed his unfairness to his having grown up in a country where few people thought women and men might have equal rights” (You Just...). This personal experience of hers seems

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