ERIC Number: ED342038
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
On Becoming a Woman: Teaching as Transformation.
How do people know what gender they are? An action or physical characteristic becomes meaningful only when interpreted through its cultural framework. The difference between male and female communication styles has recently engaged national attention, and the frameworks that men and women use to understand the world have been observed by scholars. These behavior, in turn, may be understood as performances of the different frameworks used. During undergraduate and graduate study, a teacher (who had always sought to flee gender limitations) used male-linked communication characteristics to insure her success. She entered the field of speech communication and media criticism, a discipline that valued the masculine. Through a university debate she organized, she began to doubt the effectiveness of male "report" talk. The debate opened the door to the discovery of different options for communication. The teacher came to assume her own validity and to make decisions that were neither reactions against nor concessions to power. Now, in her public speaking courses at a community college, she focuses on the interdependence of speaker and audience. She has operationalized the feminine and come to believe that gender identity is negotiable and is determined within a changing social context. (Nineteen references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Communication Styles; Feminist Criticism; Feminist Scholarship; Male Female Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (81st, Seattle, WA, November 22-27, 1991).