Gender and Conversational Dynamics

  • Lynn Smith-Lovin
  • Dawn T. Robinson
Chapter

Abstract

Much of what is important in social life is accomplished through talk. Through conversation, we form acquaintances, request and receive services, conduct business, and negotiate family affairs. In such situations, language use creates a social identity. Conversational styles that reflect our group membership and social position serve to maintain those identities in social interaction. They represent the micro-level mechanisms through which structural-level inequality and differentiation are accomplished in everyday interaction. On the other hand, conversational patterns that contrast with those that are expected from group members may be the mechanisms for social mobility (e.g., leadership acquisition or loss). Therefore, language use and conversational style may reinforce a sense of stereotype, or can alleviate stereotypic beliefs (Jupp, Roberts, & Cook-Gumpertz, 1982, p. 234).

Keywords

Female Student Gender Identity Male Student American Sociological Review Conversational Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Lynn Smith-Lovin
  • Dawn T. Robinson

There are no affiliations available

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