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Com 225 Unit 2 Notes

by: Bennett Notetaker

Com 225 Unit 2 Notes COM 225

Bennett Notetaker

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Sex, Gender, and Communication theories as well as Small Talk notes. These topics will be on next test
Interpersonal Communication
Scott Murszewski
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bennett Notetaker on Monday March 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COM 225 at University at Buffalo taught by Scott Murszewski in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 74 views. For similar materials see Interpersonal Communication in Communication at University at Buffalo.


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Date Created: 03/14/16
Interpersonal Unit 2: 02/29/2016 ▯ Sex, Gender, & Communication Difference between sex and gender o Sex- a person’s biology, your physiological characteristics o Gender- how a person identifies themselves/ learns to perform based on their sex Theory 1: Male Dominance o Men have historically held more social power than have women o Think of “glass ceiling” o Either consciously or subconsciously men dominate women in conversation because they feel entitled  Ex.) men may interrupt women more than the reverse, meaning they control conversation topics o How do women deal with this?  Women as a result of their subservient social position, adapt coping strategies to avoid punishment o “Men need to be more aware of their domineering positions towards women”  Theory 2: Different Cultures o Builds off the tendencies of little boys and little girls to play in sex-segregated groups o Argues that within these groups, boys and girls develop different communication rules and norms o Reasoning, men and women grow up differently o Little boys learn to value hierarchy, power and competitiveness o Little girls learn to value sharing, cooperation, and relational harmony o “Women and men need to understand and appreciate each other’s communication styles”  Theory 3: Different Skills o Men and women do not differ in values, as suggested by the Different Cultures theory o Instead, some research on the topic says men and women place equal amounts of value on a variety of communicative norms/abilities o Although men and women develop different communication skills it’s not because of different values  Studies have shown that women are better than men at sending and reading nonverbal messages because women are better listeners o “Men need to better develop their skills and may need assistance in doing so”  Theory 4: Social Roles o As a result of the differential social roles inhabited by men and women, based upon this division of labor, gender roles developed concerning expectations about the characteristics and behaviors of women and men  Thus men are expected to fulfill the masculine gender role and women are expected to fulfill the feminine gender role  “classic” gender roles  women cook, clean, and raise the kids  men goes to work and comes home to wife making dinner for him o Social roles (the shrinking/expanding circles)  Working mother vs. working father  Changed during WWII o Weakness of this theory is that there are more 2 income households than ever before o “You’d have to be crazy to give up the gender of power for the gender of powerlessness.” Theory 5: Biological Factors o Considers how neuro-cognitive differences in brain structure or function may translate into behavioral differences between the sexes o Testosterone and estrogen shown to correlate differently with specific expressions of mood, aggression, sensation seeking, and the like o “Men and women may not be from different planets, but they are on different drugs.”  Theory 6: Minimal Difference o Men and women are much more similar than different o While statistically significant differences between the groups do exist, they tend to be quite small o More often than not, there is much more variability in skills within groups than between them o The differences really amount to the individual and it’s not really about sex or gender o Cautions against stereotyping and confirmation bias o “In terms of communication, men and women are more alike than pop culture leads us to believe.” ▯ Small Talk Characterized by: o A “balance” o Efficiency in getting to know them vs. appropriate/not being scary o Variety of topics  Q & A form  Parallel topics with reciprocity  Sports example (don’t like football, what sport do you like)  Ritualized opening and closing questions (how you greet or say bye to someone)  Godsmith & Baxter study: o Wanted to find out how many different types of trivial talk there is (there are 6)  Gossip  Making plans  Joking around  Catching up  Small talk  Recapping the day’s events o Importance of trivia talk  Professional/Career Development  Relationship development  Phatic communion- talking just to talk, you aren’t talking about anything because silence can be awkward  7 Guidelines for Small Talk: o Increase topic intimacy gradually o Give and use “free information” o Confidence o Be very careful with humor o Share the floor- conversational narcissism  Someone who talks about themselves all the time and they think they’re the most important thing on the planet and they always relate things back to themselves  Sometimes it’s okay to use  Sharing superior knowledge when the other person needs it  Emotional support scenarios  Entertainment  Norm excuses a focus on yourself o Don’t be too hard on yourself o Show interest in the interactional other  V & NV encouragement  Nodding head  Tricks to ingratiating yourself during small talk: o 1. In advance, research topics you can bring up during the conversation o 2. Focus questions on/about the other person ▯ ▯


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