You Just Don't Understand Essay

1310 WordsNov 4, 20076 Pages
Deborah Tannen is the author of the book You Just Don't Understand where she analyzes the different meanings of communication between men and women. Her research shows that women and men use the same words and phrases and yet can interpret and react to those same words and phrases differently. Tannen compares the two sexes to find men use their conversation as a type of competition or to preserve their independence. For example, men talk about their knowledge regarding sports, cars, women, exc. Meanwhile, women try to foster intimacy through communication. For instance, women often talk and relate on a personal level. Throughout Tannen's book she uses "cross-cultural communication" to describe the differences between the language of…show more content…
Tannen points out boys style of communication is more competitive arguing over who is the winner opposed to who is the loser, while the girls are less competitive by trying to make suggestions and compromise with others. Boys growing into young men focus more on being dominate and having a strong desire, to be the best at everything. Young men tend to continue giving orders to maintain dominance, which they view as strength. Men seek power, for their social status is important to their self-image. Tannen discussed the research of Marjorie Goodwin, who studied boys in Philadelphia for a year and a half. "She found the high-status boys gave orders just to maintain their dominance, not because they particularly needed the thing done. And the boys who were being told what to do were low status, by virtue of doing what they were told" (Tannen 53). In contrast, girls growing into young women generally do not have the desire to dominate, but are more passive and prefer compromise. Social status is also important to young woman but not to seek power rather their strong desire to be liked. For women their main goal is to be popular and liked by others. Women relate intimacy through communication in their relationship. They build relationships with friends talking about troubles and personal events in their life. Men on the other hand build relationships with friends through activities and spending time together. Women take
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