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A Self-Categorization Perspective on Gender and Communication: Reconciling the Gender-as-Culture and Dominance Explanations

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Abstract:

The two major theoretical accounts for communicative differences between men and women—the gender-as-culture and dominance explanations—are limited in their ability to account for contextual variations and often are unnecessarily portrayed as mutually exclusive. As a result, research on gender and communication would benefit greatly from a theoretical account that explains what communicative behaviors men and women will use, under what circumstances, and why. The objective of this paper, then, is to offer such a theoretical account based on self-categorization theory and, in particular, the concept of gender identity salience. By understanding the social context in which inter-gender contact takes place, we can predict concomitant effects upon the salience of gender identity, its normative character, and the emergence of descriptive and prescriptive rules for communication. In other words, communication reflects the relevant similarities and differences of men and women in any given social context. In support of this argument, we review research on gender and communication with the aim of reconciling unexplained and inconsistent results in the literature. We also provide explanations for contexts that evoke mutual accommodation between men and women and linguistic gender reversal. Finally, a set of propositions that flow from self-categorization theory is elaborated. Our goal is to advance a theoretical line of reasoning to cast a brighter light on the dynamics of gender and communication.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

gender (255), communic (144), languag (125), ident (106), differ (105), women (102), men (98), salienc (79), social (58), use (47), normat (40), mulac (40), group (39), salient (39), research (38), e.g (36), link (35), domin (35), specif (34), cultur (33), context (33),

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Gender, Language, Self-Categorization Theory, Intergroup, Cognition, Identity
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Name: International Communication Association
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MLA Citation:

Palomares, Nicholas., Reid, Scott. and Bradac, James. "A Self-Categorization Perspective on Gender and Communication: Reconciling the Gender-as-Culture and Dominance Explanations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA, May 27, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112788_index.html>

APA Citation:

Palomares, N. A., Reid, S. A. and Bradac, J. , 2004-05-27 "A Self-Categorization Perspective on Gender and Communication: Reconciling the Gender-as-Culture and Dominance Explanations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112788_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The two major theoretical accounts for communicative differences between men and women—the gender-as-culture and dominance explanations—are limited in their ability to account for contextual variations and often are unnecessarily portrayed as mutually exclusive. As a result, research on gender and communication would benefit greatly from a theoretical account that explains what communicative behaviors men and women will use, under what circumstances, and why. The objective of this paper, then, is to offer such a theoretical account based on self-categorization theory and, in particular, the concept of gender identity salience. By understanding the social context in which inter-gender contact takes place, we can predict concomitant effects upon the salience of gender identity, its normative character, and the emergence of descriptive and prescriptive rules for communication. In other words, communication reflects the relevant similarities and differences of men and women in any given social context. In support of this argument, we review research on gender and communication with the aim of reconciling unexplained and inconsistent results in the literature. We also provide explanations for contexts that evoke mutual accommodation between men and women and linguistic gender reversal. Finally, a set of propositions that flow from self-categorization theory is elaborated. Our goal is to advance a theoretical line of reasoning to cast a brighter light on the dynamics of gender and communication.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 30
Word count: 8036
Text sample:
Communication and Gender Identity Salience 1 A Self­Categorization Perspective on Gender and Communication: Reconciling the Gender­as­Culture and Dominance Explanations Abstract The two major theoretical accounts for communicative differences between men and women---the gender­as­culture and dominance explanations---are limited in their ability to account for contextual variations and often are unnecessarily portrayed as mutually exclusive. As a result research on gender and communication would benefit greatly from a theoretical account that explains what communicative behaviors men and women will use under
of group behavior. In E. J. Lawler (Ed.) Advances in group processes (Vol. 2 pp. 77­122). Greenwich CN: JAI Press. Turner J. C. (1987). A self­categorization theory. In J. C. Turner & M. A. Hogg & P. J. Oakes & S. D. Reicher & M. S. Wetherell (Eds.) Rediscovering the social group: A self­ categorization theory (pp. 42­67). New York: Basil Blackwell. West C. & Garcia A. (1988). Conversational shift work: A study of topical transitions between women and


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