Outline 9: Topical Cohesion and Conjunctive vs. Disjunctive Interactions
this activity are found at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy26/g26-oral1.htm
Instructor: Dr. Leon James
Tannen, Deborah. Gender and Discourse (Oxford University Pres, 1994) pgs. 99-118.
Two Main Concepts:
I. Topical Cohesion between boys and girls in the book Gender and Discourse by Deborah Tannen.
A. Topical Cohesion in Second Grade Boys.
1. No topic is elaborated.
2. Second-grade boys show extreme discomfort in the situation of sitting in a room with nothing else to do but talk.
3. They talk about finding something to do. They tease each other, tell jokes and plan future activities.
4. They begin talking about the problem at hand.
B. Topical Cohesion in Second Grade Girls.
1. Second grade girls drastically contrasted their male counterparts. They agreed on a topic and hand and engaged in it.
2. When given instructions on what to do, they follow them and work together to come up with a solution.
3. Unlike boys who go from one topic to the other, the conversation of the girls is more cohesive and easier to follow.
4. The girls are more empathetic, whereas when a serious situation arose with the boys they were more playful and teasing.
C. Topical Cohesion with Sixth Grade Boys.
1. Sixth-grade boys talk about a variety of topics.
2. No topic extended for more than a few turns before they proceeded to talk about another topic. Topics are not extensively elaborated.
3. Boys negotiate with a lot of agreement- something that is associated with girls.
D. Topical Cohesion with Sixth-Grade Girls.
1. They continue to present a ďstaggering contrastĒ with the boys.
2. Boys talk about various things that may or may not be related, whereas girls are more likely to talk about emotions and elaborate more upon a situation rather than jumping to a different topic.
3. Most of the sixth-grade girls conversation is about intimacy and fights or things that interfere with achieving intimacy.
4. Girls evaluate themselves more.
5. Girls bring up a lot of topics but they discuss them at length. Even though it appears that they are bringing up different topics, itís usually the new phase of the same topic.
E. Topical Cohesion with Tenth-Grade Girls.
1. There is a resemblance in tenth-grade girls and sixth-grade girls.
2. They bring up several topics but they focus on the topic at length.
F. Topical Cohesion with Tenth-Grade Boys.
1. Men are anomalous in patterns throughout their ages.
2. Tenth-grade boys do not use objects in the room as resources for talk. They do, however, talk at length on each topic.
3. High school boys talk about personal topics but they do so differently from girls.
4. Each boy talks about his own concerns and disagrees with the concerns expressed by the other in order to downplay his problems. Girls tend to agree more and elaborate more on the problems of their friends.
5. Women frequently express dissatisfaction with the way men respond to their concerns. Because men like to downplay a problem, it poses problems in the conversation between men and women.
G. Topical Cohesion in Twenty-Five-year-old men.
1. Men in this age range find it hard to come up with topics to discuss. Itís seen through their own personal strain and cerebral effort.
2. Conversation is slow.
3. Men feel the need to find ďseriousĒ topics which must be general and have personal significance.
4. Men are very theoretical about their conversations.
H. Topical Cohesion in Twenty-five-year-old women.
1. Women talk about their personal lives.
2. Unlike men, women find it easier to come up with topics to talk about.
3. Women tend to belittle their qualities, unlike men who try to get the upper hand. They may have disregard for positive qualities, but they tend to undermine themselves.
II. Relating topical cohesion with Section 17a Part 5 on Monitoring Conjunctive and Disjunctive interactions between couples.
A. Topical Cohesion of 25 year old women and men and Disjunctive replies.
1. Because women tend to belittle themselves and men try to get downplay another personís problem other than theirs, men are more likely to deny, negate, and refuse the requests and demands that women present.
2. This is why most relationships begin in the dominance phase because of the interactions that they developed are portrayed initially. Itís up to both women and men to try to overcome these individual differences and work to communicate in a more cohesive way.
B. Topical Cohesion of Younger boys and women and their Disloyalty, Secrecy and Lies.
1. Younger boys (2nd to 10th grade boys) tend to not talk about anything too personal and keep things inside.
2. Younger women are more likely to express their feelings and talk about more personal topics. They share secrets.
3. This would say that men are more likely to keep secrets but this contributes to the disjunction in the relationship.
C. Topical Cohesion of Younger boys and 25 year old women and their Abusiveness, Swearing, and Yelling.
1. Younger boys have disjunctive behaviors by teasing their friends when they have problems.
2. These types of behaviors influence boys to use disjunctive acts like abuse, swearing, and yelling as tactics to get their way.
3. Older women tend to downplay their abilities and characteristics. A conjunctive act of a man would be to try to make her feel better about herself or understand her feelings. However, a manís development shows that they would normally act disjunctively by teasing and belittling the female more.
D. After causing mental distress, Not making up adequately enough.
1. Women are very sympathetic to their female counterparts and their problems.
2. Men tend to stay focused on themselves and what they believe will make the situation better. Many times men fail to pick up on hints of how to help ease a personís mental distress. Instead of elaborating on the topic, they try to switch to a new topic as a means of trying to forget the other one.
Other Related Links
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