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Theory[ edit ] Difference theory has roots in the studies of John Gumperzwho examined differences in cross-cultural communication. While difference theory deals with cross-gender communication, the male and female genders are often presented as being two separate cultures, hence the relevance of Gumperz's studies.
Theory[ edit ] Difference theory has roots in the studies of John Gumperzwho examined differences in cross-cultural communication. While difference theory deals with cross-gender communication, the male and female genders are often presented as being two separate cultures, hence the relevance of Gumperz's studies. In her development of the difference theory, Deborah Tannen drew on the work of Daniel Maltz and Ruth Borker, in particular their paper, A Cultural Approach to Male-Female Miscommunication, which itself drew on the work of Gumperz.
Talbot comments that this means the book provides explanations for domestic disputes without "pointing the finger" at anyone. In demonstrating this, Tannen uses the example of her husband and herself, who at one point had jobs in different cities.
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She remarks that whenever someone commented on this, she interpreted it as being an offer of sympathy or support. Her husband, on the other hand, took such comments as being criticisms and attempts to put him down.
Tannen remarks that this displays undeerstanding different approaches that women and men take in terms of status and support. Furthermore, men are also more likely to interrupt to get their point across and hence gain status. Understanding[ edit ] Women seek comfort and sympathy for their problems, whilst men will seek a solution to the problem.
For women, conversation is much more important for building relationships and strengthening social links. Orders v.
Women encourage the use of superpolite forms "let's", "would womam mind if? Conflict v. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to use confrontation as a way of resolving differences and thereby negotiating status.
Fear of humiliation inhibits women's care-seeking behaviour for long-term urinary incontinence
Tannen supports this view by making reference to the work of Walter J. Ongwhose publication, Fighting for Life, asserts that "expressed adversativeness" is more an element of male culture than female culture.
Tannen stresses unddrstanding both forms of communication are valid ways of creating involvement and forming bonds. Tannen demonstrates this with the example of a husband making a decision without consulting his wife.
She theorises that he does so because he doesn't want to feel a loss of independence that would come from saying, "Let me consult this with my wife first. Tannen asserts that women, uderstanding the world as a network of connections and relationships, view intimacy as key to achieving consensus and avoiding the appearance of superiority, whereas men, who are more sseeking to view the world in terms of status, see independence as being key to establishing their status.
Tannen also clarifies that while both men and women seek independence and intimacy, men tend to be focused on the former, while women tend to focus on the latter.