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Preview — Gender & Discourse by Deborah Tannen
Gender & Discourse
Tannen collects five of her essays on gender and language, which provide a background as well as a response to her popular work You Just Don't Understand (1990). Her introduction discusses the reactions to that book and explains how these essays deal with questions raised by the book's critics.
Published July 7th 1994 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 1st 1994)
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This was a good book. It helped me put a lot of things into perspective. I understand the differences between men and women more closely and I also understand the dangers of assigning everyone a gender role just because of the way that they talk. Just because people are expected to talk this way to other people does not mean that's not the only way that they should talk to that way. Things are definitely not as simple as Deborah Tannen make it out to be. I'll have to agree with Senta Prommel-Tro ...more
This book is a collection of scholarly articles Deborah Tannen wrote over a couple of decades about different aspects of gender in discourse. One of the more interesting analyses is of the play Scenes from a Marriage, in which she (with Robin Lakoff) dissect the criss-crossing styles of Johan and Marianne as their marriage dissolves. Many of the other analyses are represented in her other books, but this one demonstrates the methods more rigorously.
This book is much less about gender than I thought, and more of a sampling of Tannen's sociolinguistic research that happened to have a gender component. A few of the essays were interesting, but overall, I finished the book unclear about the author's overall thesis.
Deborah Tannen is best known as the author of You Just Don't Understand, which was on The New York Times Best Seller list for nearly four years years, including eight months as No. 1, and has been translated into 29 languages. It was also on best seller lists in Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, and Hong Kong. This is the book that brought gender differences in communication style to the ...moreMore about Deborah Tannen...