Tuesday, May 06, 2008

ENA6 - Investigating Male & Female Speech Styles

Thanks for all the responses, questions and follow-up discussion for last week's snappily titled "ENA6 question 1b challenge". Ufuoma, Lisa and Adesola win the Haribo.

This week, the question is about gender and conversation styles: how would you go about investigating similarities and/or differences in the ways men and women use language to interact?

Remember to follow the 5 point plan as laid out below:
  • AIM/ANGLE
  • METHOD of DATA COLLECTION
  • FRAMEWORK for ANALYSING YOUR DATA
  • CONSIDERATION of EXTRA LINGUISTIC VARIABLES/ VALIDITY/ ETHICS
  • WHAT YOU EXPECT to FIND
On your marks...get set...Haribooooooooooooooooo

12 comments:

Dessy said...

did you give out any haribos last week?

Dan said...

Yes but you weren't there! I'm resupplying this weekend, so if you are around next week there'll be Haribo aplenty. And more if you enter this week's question...

Dan said...

Come on, only 5 days to go...

Dessy said...

what do you call it when you hide someone's identity, like when a news report blurs someone's face who has nothing to do with the report.

Dan said...

"Anonymising" - not sure about spelling!

Dessy said...

Aim: to investigate whether males and females use mitigated directives and bald imperatives differently.

Method: I'll be collecting my data from male and female traffice police. i'll follow at least ten male and female partners, ten male and male teams, and ten female and female teams. i will be video recording their interactions with the public over a period of a week, as only one day is too limited to find out what their conversational styles are.
video recording because then it's easier to identify the speaker.

Framework: will be quantitative. having transcribed all the conversations, i'll count up the number of mitigated directives and bald imperatives used by the males, and likewise for the females. i'll then compare the number and see which gender uses them most. i'll be considering whether the gender of their partners will have an effect, i.e whether they are in a single sex team, or mixed sex team.

E.L.V the position of the police officers may matter. i.e the officer in a superior position may use more bald imperatives, because he/she has more authority. Also, the gender or age of the person they are speakking to may also have effect on the language use. for example, speaking to an old lady may call for less use of bald imperatives as oppsed to talking to a teenager.
Ethics: being police officers, a lot of their work is confidential. so i'll be seeking permission from all partici[ants, as well as "anonymising" those who wish to be.
the validity of this investigation may be questioned, because if the officers knew what i was investigating, they may change their conversational style, in order to fulfill my expectations. as a result, i won't be telling them what my investigation is about, until i've collected all my data, to avoid demand characteristics.

I expect to find that males use more bald imperatives and females use more mitigated directives.

Dan said...

Brilliant. A top idea and very clearly presented. I reckon that's 2 bags of Haribo that I owe you.

Dessy said...

sir, you better stop doing tis haribo thing, what if only three people do it evry week, then you'll be giving the haribo to the same pple?

not that i'm complaining...

Anonymous said...

iv read dessys answer.. the general flow of what he/she (sorry) wrote is familiar. one thing i wanted to ask!..

can you exaplain sum examples of e.l.v?.. is it just basically, important things that need to be considered?

Anonymous said...

oh yh, just one more thing.. iv jus read it again.. n noticed "quantitive" was written for framework.. is there a list? like, could it maybe NOT be quantitive.. but could be something else infact. if you know what i mean.


thanks.

Dan said...

ELVs (extra-linguistic variables) are basically things like the age, gender, ethnicity of your respondents. So say you were investigating children's acquisition of language and you wanted to see if boys or girls progressed quicker, you'd have to be careful to consider the other ELVs such as whether or not the kids had older siblings, what their ethnic/social background might be. Ideally you'd be comparing like with like (ie black middle class kids with no older siblings) so the variable you did want to study (gender) wasn't affected by other factors.

Or to put it more simply, in your 1b answer, just say something like "I'd consider the validity of my study and be aware of ELVs like age, ethnicity and social class" and that'll probably be enough to get you the mark.

You don't have to really *do* the investigation after all and it is only a 5 mark question!

Dan said...

Quantitative as a framework would basically just mean counting up the number of times a feature appears (eg tag questions, overgeneralisations etc.). Normally the framework will be the one you've studied - lexis, semantics, grammar, phonology - and these would be part of a qualitative framework where you'd be analysing their use.