Cover image for Gendering talk
Gendering talk
Hopper, Robert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xi, 251 pages ; 23 cm
Gendering the conversation -- The arrangement between the sexes -- Flirting -- Hey baby, you bitch -- Coupling as progressive commitment -- Coupling as a difference engine -- Talk about women, talk about men -- Making women look bad -- How women and men talk -- How gender creeps into talk -- Leveling the playing field -- Return to laughter.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1075 .H67 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Men and women are not from separate planets. Making an original and significant argument, "Gendering Talk" puts gendered communication in perspective by showing that the problem with male/female communication is not how men and women talk to each other, but in how they listen.
By closely examining the details of actual conversations between women and menparticularly the conversations of people coupling Hopper draws on theories of arousal, relationship development, and play to trace the ways in which romantic couplings begin. "Gendering Talk" provides an engaging, highly entertaining, and far-reaching analysis of the ways in which people actively gender their talk, each other, and the social world. From the children s game Farmer in the Dell to excerpts from classic and modern literature, and the media Hopper convincingly argues that talk between women and men is more alike than different."

Author Notes

Robert Hopper was Charles Sapp Professor of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. He was internationally recognized for his teaching and research in the area of gender roles in communication, language, culture, interpersonal communication, and conversation analysis. Robert Hopper died in 1998

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Artfully allowing readers to see as if in a mirror everyday talk, Hopper (Univ. of Texas, Austin) reveals interesting truths. He illustrates stages of talk in man-woman relationships and the changing kinds of issues that accompany--beginning with ordinary conversation, through flirting conversation, and on to making-exclusive-commitment conversation, and beyond. All chapters clarify the staying power of gendered communication, how gender is created in talk, and how this is done from habit, accident, and reasons not always clear to the speakers themselves. Pointing out the ironies in what language features and what cultural practice obliges, Hopper reveals society in the reflection of its own words. The insight that in talk both men and women "remake and sustain inequality between the sexes" and thus create social problems of the "planet" becomes obvious. Seeking to make the world more fairly gendered, the author verifies how speech creates difference and the disadvantage of difference. Hence, he takes issue with Deborah Tannen and John Gray's popular notions of difference. For this reason alone this is a valuable resource on communication disciplines and disciplines with feminist and sociological content. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. T. B. Dykeman Fairfield University

Table of Contents

Transcript Symbolsp. xi
1. Gendering the Conversationp. 1
2. The Arrangement between the Sexesp. 11
3. Flirtingp. 31
4. Hey Baby, You Bitchp. 55
5. Coupling as Progressive Commitmentp. 83
6. Coupling as a Difference Enginep. 103
7. Talk about Women, Talk about Menp. 121
8. Making Women Look Badp. 145
9. How Women and Men Talkp. 177
10. How Gender Creeps into Talkp. 193
11. Leveling the Playing Fieldp. 209
12. Return to Laughterp. 225
Notesp. 235