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Topic shift and initiation from a gender perspective: A study of conversational topic shifts among second language learners of English
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Studies carried out by different scholars have shown that the social roles society assigns to women and men create differences in how the genders use language. However, there is little previous research in the domain of gender and topic shift or initiation. This essay aims to investigate possible gender differences in topic shift and initiation in multiparty conversation among second language learners of English in upper secondary school. The three group discussions were recorded in a classroom setting and the data collected was transcribed. The topical shifts in the transcripts were coded using the Topical Episode Analysis (TEA) and the episode shifts in each conversation were analyzed on the basis of gender distribution and type of shift. In addition, the findings of the three groups were compared and discussed. The main result of this study was that the boys initiated 100 percent more shifts than the girls. The boys took up more linguistic space and dominated the topical shifts in the conversation which indicates that gender differences in topic shift and initiation exists, a finding that is consistent with previous research within the field of gender and language. In conclusion, gender differences were found between how the girls and the boys participating in this study shifted and initiated topics. The boys initiated more shifts than the girls in the multiparty conversations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , p. 35
Keywords [en]
gender and language, gender differences in language use, topic shift and initiation, sociolinguistics, episodes, TEA, second language learners
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1353OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-1353DiVA, id: diva2:5230
Presentation
2008-01-21
Uppsok
humaniora/teologi
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Available from: 2008-01-30 Created: 2008-01-30 Last updated: 2018-01-12

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf