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Gender, Language and Power - Essay Example

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Males and females both have different roles to play in the society, the society assumes that males are quite dominating when it comes to usage of language and women…
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Gender, Language and Power
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Gender, Language and Power

This paper will focus on how both the sexes use language differently; the paper will cover various studies conducted previously on the subject of how language and power are linked with each other.
Various theorists have focused on how males and females differ in the usage of language, one such theory is the Dominance Approach, and this approach has figured out that the difference between language usage of males and females is caused due to the difference between the degree of power experienced by males and females. The approach states that women exhibit lack of power in their speech and they use language in accordance to the subordinate role expected from them by the society, where as males use language too clearly exhibit power and they clearly reflect the role of superiority assigned to them by the society. Robin Lakoff was one of the early researchers to determine the difference between the usage of language exhibited by both genders and the research even proved that this imbalance is caused due to difference in authority. Lackoff identified that the language used my females is consisted of characteristics that exhibits empathy, lack of swear words that can really hurt, very polite words, words that exhibit intensity, words that contain emptiness, words that request for opinion from others, opinions that lack affirmation. Words and phrases such as: oh my god, extremely beautiful, isn’t it the best? kind off, great performance. Lackoffs observation of how females use language clearly exhibits that women lack confidence. According to Lakoff’s observation, the society is dominated by males and in this society, women are considered as subordinates to males and thus the lack of authority in their speech is expected by the society and same characteristics are even expected by women while they conduct behaviors in social settings (WEATHERALL, p.57, 2002). Dale Spender’s study even clearly state that society views females as a subordinate to males and ... Read More
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