involves assigning a basic set of characteristics to represent an entire group as a whole.
These may be positive or negative, and depending on how they are used to make judgements on or maintain ways in which we expect groups or individuals to behave, can lead to prejudice.
Stereotyping can also lead us to believe that certain roles are normal and that group members ought to conform to these roles and behavioural expectations.
The Deficit Approach:
Female language is lacking authority in comparison to male.
Use of precise colour terms, weak expletive terms, empty adjectives, tag questions, more polite forms, hedgers, fillers.
Janet Holes suggests that tag questions are not a sign of uncertainty, but also function as a device to help maintain discussion/ be polite.
Betty Dubois & Isobel Crouch found in their data men used more tag questions but were not less confident speakers.
William O’Barr & Bowman Atkins renamed ‘powerless language’ due to the fact they found it was more likely to be used by lower class men in the courtroom.
The Difference Approach:
Variation in the way males and females use language is due to different sub-cultures.
Jennifer Coats’s Theory:
All-female talk is essentially cooperative in the way that speakers help to negotiate discussions and support each other’s rights as speakers; they are evidence of different socio-cultural expectations.
Jane Pilkington’s Theory:
Women in same-sex conversations were more collaborative then men in all-male talk and men were less supportive and not as polite as women.
Koenraad Kuiper’s Theory:
In all male conversations amongst rugby players, men were less likely to pay attention to the need to save face and instead used insults as a way of expressing solidarity.
Lexical items used to describe females are often marked to distinguish them from the male terms.
The act of marking suggests deviation or difference to the norm, the unmarked item.
A straightforward form of marking can be seen in antonyms. One of the most obvious examples of this is in the use of the antonyms ‘young’ and ‘old.
In English, a more obvious form of marking called overt marking often occurs through the addition of the suffix ‘-ess’. So for unmarked items such as ‘manager’ and ‘actor’ we have the marked terms ‘manageress’ and ‘actress’
Sometimes, through modification we have terms such as ‘female doctor’ or ‘male nurse’.