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Boy and Girl Talk: A sociolinguistic study of international high school students' turn-taking patterns from a gender perspective
Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

 The aspect of gender and language has been thoroughly studied by sociolinguists. Research has however mainly focused on adults. This study investigates whether the concepts of male competitiveness and female cooperation are valid among Swedish high school students and if boys and girls use different turn-taking strategies when engaging in a conversation.

Eight high school students participated in a conversation which was recorded. The topic, the justification for the existence of Systembolaget, which is a government run off-license, was chosen as it is a controversial subject on which young people have diversified opinions.Hedges, minimal responses, tag questions, interruptions and overlaps were categories used as parameters to quantify how cooperative or competitive the participants were. Categories were chosen as other sociolinguists have found that these are areas where men and women use language differently.The behaviours of the participants were also connected to Grice’s conversational maxims. The maxims serve as an explanation as to how turn-taking and turn-taking order took place in the recorded interaction.The concept of female cooperation and male competitiveness proved to be ambiguous, as the girls adopted cooperative strategies, such as hedges and minimal responses, as well as a more competitive strategy by using far more overlaps and interruptions than the participating boys did.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
English, Sociolinguistics, Conversation Analysis, Gender
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-14630OAI: diva2:405822
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-04-13 Created: 2011-03-23 Last updated: 2011-04-13Bibliographically approved

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