Muted Group Theory.docx - Running Head MUTED GROUP THEORY...

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Running Head: MUTED GROUP THEORY 1 Muted Group Theory Name Institution Course Date
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MUTED GROUP THEORY 2 Introduction The Muted Group Theory, in communication, is concerned with the manner in which some people in society appear marginalized (powerless) as compared to others. In short, it aims at highlighting power and how it is used by some people against others. Unlike other critical theories which apply different ways of separating the powerful from the powerless, it divides the power spectrum into male and female. The theory has, therefore, been studied as it informs the relationships of people in society. For instance, it can explain why one gender may dominate over the other in some ways. In the light of this, the following study will discuss the Muted Group Theory in-depth. It will provide a detailed review, explain it thoroughly, highlights its pros and cons as well as provide key research findings on the same. In addition, the study will apply the theory to different real life situations, discuss how the theory explains them and finally state how it can inform future interactions. Review The Muted Group Theory’s concept was introduced by the British Anthropologist, Edwin Ardener. Ardener settled on the concept after finding out that most ethnographers in society generalized gender studies on men and ignored the women. He realized that the voices of women as well as other minority groups in society remained unheard, muted and/or ignored. As such, according to his findings, about half of the population in society was ignored (Wall, 1999). Therefore, he devised a theory that would bring to light the use of power in marginalizing some people in society, thus, the Muted Group Theory was born. The other theorist who takes credit for the furthering of this theory is Cheris Kramarae, a professor in Women Studies. She informed the theory that, in society, communication is mainly
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MUTED GROUP THEORY 3 initiated by men, and due to that, the men took advantage of women. She explained that when speaking, women are perceived as less powerful than their male counterparts and that the only reason for this occurrence is based on simple psychology. Again, she found that the needs of women are emotionally driven unlike those of them. Concisely, that is why women are more vulnerable than men (Gamble & Gamble, 2013). From the explanations of both theorists, it is clear that the concept explains the reasons for muteness by one group in society due to oppression by another. Again, the two explanations uphold gender-based perspectives where the men are categorized as the dominant class. In general, the women live with the idea that their opinions remain muted when spoken and so they have to adapt with the situation. On the other hand, the men are offered the attitude that they are superior to the women and that the women have to rely on them. In a nutshell, the Muted Group Theory readily comes off as concept that explains the variation of communication between men and women.
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