muted group theory notes

muted group theory notes - MUTED GROUP THEORY Outline I....

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415 CHAPTER 35 MUTED GROUP THEORY Outline I. Introduction. A. To Cheris Kramarae, language is a man-made construction. B. Women's words and thoughts are discounted in our society. C. When women try to overcome this inequity, the masculine control of communication places them at a disadvantage. D. Women are a muted group because man-made language aids in defining, depreciating, and excluding them. E. Kramarae began her research studying gender bias in cartoons. II. Muted groups: black holes in someone else's universe. A. Edwin Ardener first proposed that women are a muted group. B. He noted that many ethnographers claimed to have “cracked the code” of a culture without referencing female speech. C. He and Shirley Ardener discovered that mutedness is caused by the lack of power that besets any group of low status. D. He claimed that muted groups are “black holes” because they are overlooked, muffled, and rendered invisible. E. Shirley Ardener argues that the key issue is whether people can say what they want to say when and where they want to say it, or must they re-encode their thoughts to make them understood in the public domain? F. Kramarae's extension of the Ardeners' initial concept explores why women are muted and how to free them. G. She argues that the public-private distinction in language exaggerates gender differences, poses separate sexual spheres of activity, and devalues private communication. III. The masculine power to name experience. A. Kramarae's basic assumption is that women perceive the world differently from men because of women's and men's different experiences and activities rooted in the division of labor. B. Kramarae argues that because of their political dominance, men's system of perception is dominant, impeding the free expression of women's alternative models of the world. C. Men's control of the dominant mode of expression has produced a vast stock of derogatory, gender-specific terms to refer to women's talking. D. There are also more words to describe sexually promiscuous women than men. E. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis suggests that muted women may come to doubt the validity of their experience and the legitimacy of their feelings. IV. Men as the gatekeepers of communication.
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416 A. Kramarae believes that even if the public mode of expression contained a rich vocabulary to describe feminine experience, women would still be muted if their modes of expression were ignored or ridiculed. 1. The cultural establishment virtually excludes women's art, poetry, plays, film, and so forth. 2. Mainstream communication is “malestream” expression. B. Authors such as Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Smith have argued that women have not been given their rightful place in history. C.
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course COMMUN 301 taught by Professor Vrchota during the Spring '08 term at Iowa State.

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muted group theory notes - MUTED GROUP THEORY Outline I....

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