Deborah Tannen “How Male and Female Students Use Language Differently”

Deborah Tannen opens her essay with examples of Anthropologist and Sociologist experts right away to give the reader a background knowledge on the research that has already been done on how boys and girls use sign language differently. Also with the help of these experts she is going to be able to compare her observations of the different classes dynamics with the research of the experts. 

One of the first ways that boys and girls differ from each other is that girls like smaller groups and “it’s the telling of the secrets that makes them best friends”, but on the other hand boys prefer larger groups and “boys are expected to use language to seize center stage: by exhibiting their skill, displaying their knowledge, and challenging and resisting challenges.” That been said is one of the clear ways that mostly in men, trying to achieve “ritual opposition” is the best way to approach any activity. Ritual oppoistion is trying to fight argumentatively to win the debate and win the opposite side. As Walter Ong said in his book “Fighting For Life” he calls it ” adversativeness” or “agonism”. 


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