Present the research topic and aims of the research
The research topic of the study conducted by Barbara Johnstone, Kathleen Ferrara, and Judith Mattson Bean is gender, politeness, and discourse management in same-sex and cross-sex opinion-poll interviews. The objective of the research was to understand the means of the utilization of scripts when researching issues in relevance to either men or women. The study also focuses on the different ways of handling discourse management by men and women.
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Since the study was focused on the manner of talking by women in predominantly female jobs, the interviewers were mainly women. This was by design of the opinion-poll interviewers and interest of working with a relevant audience. The study was aimed at understanding the possible existence of differences in the use of politeness strategies when interviewing men and women. It was also focused on the understanding of varying discourse management techniques by interviewers when interviewing female and male respondents. Further, the research was aimed at understanding the causes of any present differences.
Research project in terms of method, the findings, and conclusions
The selection of respondents of the research was done through random telephone dialing selection. They were Anglo-Americans from Texas taking 25 men and 23 women. It had a level distribution age for all the respondents for ages, education levels, and incomes. Interviews done by Texas poll interviewers are an excellent process because of the training of the interviewers in ensuring accuracy and deviates any irregularities that the process can present through their scripts.
They are focused on questioning and avoided any unnecessary talks always focusing on interactional functions relevant to the speech process. They engage respondents ensuring clarity and understanding of questions always answering them appropriately for coding in the questionnaire sheet.
They were keen on the cooperation of respondents through the questioning process. The use of public opinion is relevant to the American audience because of its popularity. People are conversant with their procedures because of common calls for speech events. The interviewers manage the entire process making sure that the talk goes on in a co-operational and polite management of any possible threats.
The interviewers are capable of exercising politeness management by using the techniques of discourse management for ensuring continuous cooperation throughout the interviewing process. The coding of any deviations in the used scripts and identification of discourse management techniques and politeness strategies helped in the effective answering of the research questions. The procedure was accommodating of different timings for the examination of variables relating to gender differences during interviews.
Relationship of this project to wider research contexts
This study is relevant to sociolinguistic and gender studies for the creation of a better understanding of the variations in the interactions between the genders. The study also helps in opening an avenue in the study of discourses in psychological, linguistic, and sociological fields for the development of clear patterns of the male and female speech patterns. This research contributes to the literature about rhetorical designs in linguistic discourses focusing on politeness among different genders. Further, the research produces literature contribution to the growth in new genres and the emergence of new registers in discourses.
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This is relevant to the study of the use of languages in professional setups. Since the research focuses on gender as an important variable, it is an important model for choosing audience design. It is a pathway for discourse analysts and researchers for investigating discourse management and techniques used. This is useful in unequal interlocutors necessary for use by task-oriented professionals in speech events. This happens between individuals of unequal status such as during police questioning, consultation with bankers, and consulting psychotherapists.
The positive and negative things about the research project
The findings of the research regarding the existence of linguistic politeness help in the understanding of the power of negotiation and control relevant to professional conversations. It is a positive direction towards the eradication of the existing instances of the phenomena of ‘cold calls’, which alter the decisions of those to talk to and those to ignore. An understanding of politeness is a step towards the realization of linguistic strategies used by different genders. The results are relevant in the promotion of an understanding of solidarity and closeness. On the other hand, people use negative politeness strategies for showing respect and defense.
The negative part of the research is on the use of open-ended questions. As much as that provides a chance for collecting so much information, some of the respondents can feel insecure about the process. Should an interviewer not have adequate skills for countering such a situation, it can probably hamper the process of information gathering. Interviewing through the phone limits the interviewer from analyzing anybody’s languages and that creates a gap for concealing the truth and concealing of some information.
The challenge in this form of research method is in the interviewing of men through speech events. This makes them uncomfortable, they tend to manipulate the questioning process to turn it into a competitive game instead of providing outright answers to interviewers, and this affects the interviewing frame.
What was interesting about the research?
The interesting thing about the research is that there is an alteration of linguistic interactions when handling different genders. This went further differentiating the way women speak to women not being the same way they would speak to men. It showed that women are politer to women than they are to men and even their management of discourse differs. Men focus more on the fulfillment of their needs and want. They require high levels of management but interviewers seldom thanked them. This is contrary to women who received sympathy and cooperation. They received more apologies than men did during interviews and required little management, and they were thanked more.
It was interesting to learn that apologies received by men result from reasons of time, which on most occasions they have to remind the interviewers about. It is also apparent that when women interview men, they maintain a light note and joke a lot. It is a trade-off of control and power, which women use to arouse softness in men so that they overpower their interaction capabilities into answering interview questions. Women cooperate and follow rules more willingly than men follow.