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Title:Marital communication: A feminist qualitative analysis
Author(s):DeFrancisco, Victoria Leto
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kramarae, Charles
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Psychology, Social
Women's Studies
Speech Communication
Abstract:When people refer to a so-called gender-gap in communication, the assumption seems to be that women and men often cannot understand each other. In this project, I suggest that the communication problem is not that they cannot communicate, but that they often have trouble doing so to both partners' satisfaction, and that the way this problem gets negotiated may indicate relational control and gender inequalities.
Seven heterosexual married couples ran a taperecorder in the central living areas of their homes for approximately one week. Afterwards, I asked each partner to privately identify what she or he liked and did not like in the selected episodes of talk we reviewed. When I attempted to combine these inside views of on-going interactions with the traditional conversation analysis methods, I discovered some central ways in which much of the previous gender research is inadequate for studying social interaction. Identifications and interpretations for components of conversation such as questions, topic success, talk time, interruptions and other indicators of conversational attentiveness and control are much more context dependent than previous studies have suggested. Thus the major contribution of this exploratory study is in its critique of conversation analysis methods and related gender communication research.
I concluded that the so-called gender-gap problem is not a problem of inherent gender differences but of differences in some communication preferences. And furthermore, in light of the need to compromise preferences, the men in this study seemed to get their preferences met more often than women, particularly when communication involved the women's preferences for emotional expression and the men's preferences to avoid such behavior.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 DeFrancisco, Victoria Leto
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9010843
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9010843

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