Write a 3–4-page analysis of the difference between communication and gendered communication, including personal and professional impact, the role of gender, and real-life application.
This assessment requires you to conduct research and to apply gender communication theories to daily personal and professional experiences.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
- Competency 1: Critically analyze issues related to gender and communication.
- Describe the influence gender has on communication.
- Explain the impact of gendered communication on workplace communication.
- Competency 2: Evaluate personal and social dimensions of gender, communications, and culture.
- Describe how communication styles differ depending on personal and professional environments.
- Competency 5: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
- Communicate effectively and concisely using APA formatting.
To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.
For the following questions, refer to the Resources for links to the Lieberman resource and the Parpart, Connelly, Barriteau, and Eudine resource:
- What is the difference between communication and gendered communication?
- Does a person “have” gender or “do” gender?
- What are the major theories that help us understand the difference between communication and gendered communication?
For this assessment, write a 3–4-page analysis in which you distinguish between communication and gendered communication. Your analysis should address the following:
- The difference between “communication” and “gendered communication.”
- How communication theories can impact the workplace and our personal and professional relationships.
- The role gender plays in the communication process.
- How gender played a role in two different communication issues in your own personal or professional experience. Be sure to describe in detail the situation and the role of gendered communication in both examples.
Reference at least four resources If you use Internet sources, they must be credible. For example, Wikipedia and YouTube are not credible resources.
- Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
- APA formatting: Resources and in-text citations should be formatted according to APA (6th edition) style and formatting.
- Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point, double-spaced. Use Microsoft Word.
- Number of resources: 4 or more.
- Length: 3–4 pages.
The document explores theories related to gender and communication. Take time to review the document for an overview of key communication-style theories, including the following:
- Symbolic Interaction Theory.
- Performative Theory.
- Standpoint Theory.
Theories About Gender and Communication
According to Fixmer-Oraiz and Wood, a theory is a “way to describe, explain, and predict relationships among phenomena” (Fixmer-Oraiz & Wood, 2019, p. 34). Specifically, theories help make sense of the world around us. “Although we are not always aware of the theories we hold, they still shape how we act and how we expect others to act” (Fixmer-Oraiz & Wood, 2019, p. 34). Moreover, theories are a practical way of explaining what goes on around us, and although we sometimes believe theories are removed from the real world, they are directly connected to our everyday actions (Fixmer-Oraiz & Wood, 2019). It is important to remember the following:
- A theory represents a particular viewpoint as an attempt to understand phenomena.
- A theory offers more than explanations; it also influences attitudes and behaviors.
- One theory should not be considered the theory on gender development; multiple theories work together to create a fuller picture.
The study of theoretical approaches to gender development and communication has been on the focus of researchers for many years. Before we can truly understand how males and females communicate, we must understand why we communicate a certain way. To do this we must study the theoretical approaches to gender development and communication.
Specifically, gender is a social construct shaped by a number of social characteristics, larger normative expectations, personal experiences, and socializations. As communicators we must recognize the power of language and communication. We must understand why we use this to perceive, judge, and evaluate others.
Communication Style Theories
Following are some of the main theories that help us better understand the why behind our communication styles:
Symbolic Interaction Theory
Symbolic interaction theory helps us negotiate and define a situation. It helps us understand questions such as the following:
- Who am I?
- What should I do?
- What can I expect from you?
- What does this behavior mean?
The symbolic interaction theory suggests that cultural definitions of gender follow us into the workplace, along with specific value placed on “masculine” versus “feminine” behaviors. It suggests that, because you must interpret a new situation based on previous experience, you may have to “feel uncomfortable” to create the perception that is important to you. This discomfort comes from breaking social norms, that is, you are requiring others to actively negotiate a new definition of the situation.
The performative theory suggests that gender is an expression of identity. Language and how we communicate are part of how we perform this identity. It suggests that we are always engaged in a collaborative performance: male and female define each other. This may speak to the important boundaries we enforce culturally. We call this essentializing, where we assume a dichotomy between men and women. In this experience, gender is a lies on a continuum; it is neither a “he” nor “she.” The performative theory suggests that we can create and support performances to provoke change to socially constructed categories of gender expectations. Routine performances are more important than dramatic departures if change is desired. Heed this word of caution: We are wired to protect self (self-esteem). Change can be seen as threat to our definition of self. Communicate accordingly.
This theory suggests that social location is culturally assigned. You experience society through the lens of the membership groups and the social locations you occupy. Critical evaluation of this location leads to a standpoint. In other words, a feminist perspective does not mean that only “women can understand women.” Members of the majority group (the powerful) have a vested interest in preserving the existing hierarchy and their place in it. As a result, views of social life may be more distorted. There may be a deep need to protect definition of self. Those in subordinate groups must understand their own perspectives to survive. They may also have a clearer view of the network due to outsider status. The standpoint theory holds that you must invest time in understanding the power structure you work in. You will need the support of others seeking to change the communication dynamic in your workgroups.