Kvinnor och män i P3 : en analys av kvinnligt och manligt tal i Sveriges Radio P3:s kultur-talkshowprogram
Sammanfattning: In the 1970s linguists started studying genderlects, the linguistic differences related to gender and its power dimensions. Studies conducted by Scandinavian researchers have shown that boys and men speak more and are more dominant in public spaces such as the classroom and political debates (Einarsson & Hultman 1984, Gomard & Krogstad 2001). One of the most prominent researchers in the field of gender and language in Sweden is Kerstin Nordenstam. In 1987 she published the study Kvinnlig och manlig samtalsstil (Female and male styles of speech) with the aim to find out whether or not women and men speak differently from one another in informal situations. Her results showed that men spoke in longer turns and interrupted each other more, while women had a more supportive role and asked more questions in order to show that they were engaged in the conversation. The aim of the present study is to spot differences in women’s and men’s speech, as well as to find out who dominates the conversation, in Swedish culture talk show programmes on the radio channel P3. Inspired by Kvinnlig och manlig samtalsstil, I have analysed the distribution of words and speech turns, as well as the use of conversation subjects, overlapping speech, support signals and questions in six five-minute clips of radio conversation. The results show that women use more support signals (for example mm, yes, no and whoa to signal that they are listening) and overlapping speech in their conversations than men do. In the conversations involving both men and women, the women interrupt the other speakers more frequently than the men do. Apart from this, no clear gender-related differences could be discerned. The differences in the style of speech seem to be more closely related to the speaker’s personality and role in the conversation rather than gender.
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