2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Gendered Speech Behaviors in the "Formal Neutrality" of the News Interview
Jessica M. Gasch
Dr. Mary Shapiro, Faculty Mentor

Since Robin Lakoff's "Language and Woman's Place," published in 1975, the roots of gendered speech have been under a linguistic magnifying glass. Less attention, however, has been paid to the effects of such a discrepancy. Through examining a recorded collection of journalistic interviews given by ten student reporters, each with both male and female subjects, and analyzing the resulting published articles, I was able to pinpoint a few practical manifestations of the speech divide. I looked at ten speech behaviors in both the reporter and the subject, including minimal responses, mitigators, hedges and laughter, as well as total interview time, number of questions, and reporter experience. I then tagged resulting article tone as positive, negative, or neutral. Analysis showed statistically significant gaps in the use of minimal responses, total interview time, and tone of the resulting articles.

Keywords: gender, speech, journalism, reporters, minimal response, hedge, Lakoff


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 51-4
Location: OP 2210
Time: 3:30

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