You Just Don't - You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen Ph.D William Morrow and Company 1990 Reviewed by Laura Morrison That men and women are

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You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen, Ph.D. William Morrow and Company, 1990 Reviewed by Laura Morrison That men and women are on different wavelengths when it comes to communicating is probably not news to you. However, "Can We Talk?" the cover story of the December issue of New Age Journal , provides some excellent new perspectives on this age-old problem. The author, Peggy Taylor, interviewed sociolinguist Deborah Tannen, who has written a book called You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation . Tannen's research shows that the differences between the communication styles of men and women go far beyond mere socialization, and appear to be inherent in the basic make up of each sex. Tannen first noticed these differences when studying videotapes another researcher had made of best friends asked to have a conversation together. In contrast to the girls, boys were extremely uncomfortable with this request. Girls in all age groups would face each other and immediately began to talk, eventually ending up discussing the problems of one girl. Boys, on the other hand, sat parallel to each other and would jump from topic to topic--centered around a time when they would do something together. Tannen observed that, "For males, conversation is the way you negotiate your status in the group and keep people from pushing you around; you use talk to preserve your independence. Females, on the other hand, use conversation to negotiate closeness and intimacy; talk is the essence of intimacy, so being best friends means sitting and talking. For boys, activities, doing things together, are central. Just sitting and talking is not an essential part of friendship. They're friends with the boys they do things with." It's not hard, from even these simple observations, to see the potential problems when men and women communicate. Women create feelings of closeness by conversing with their friends and lovers. Men don't use communication in this way, so they can't figure out why their women are continually talk, talk, talking. Eventually, many men just tune their women out. The ubiquitous image of the housewife at the breakfast table talking to her husband who has his head buried in the newspaper comes to mind. Tannen notes that men are confused by the various ways women use conversation to be intimate with others. One of these ways she calls "troubles talk." She says, "For women, talking about troubles is the essence of connection. I tell you my troubles, you tell me your troubles, and we're close. Men, however, hear troubles talk as a request for advice, so they
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2011 for the course ART Speech 104 taught by Professor Dolin during the Spring '11 term at Harrisburg Area Community College.

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You Just Don't - You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen Ph.D William Morrow and Company 1990 Reviewed by Laura Morrison That men and women are

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