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Could you hand me my keys? Can you give me my keys?: Differences between men and women in expressing politeness
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates the relationship between gender and politeness, specifically in the areaof requests. The reason why this topic was chosen is that it is claimed that men and womencommunicate differently and express requests differently. The aim is to identify and clarifythe different manners men and women express politeness with regard to the phrases Canyou…? and Could you…?. A total of 200 occurrences of Can you…? and Could you…? wereselected and analyzed from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA).

The working hypothesis was that, in accordance with their gender “regulations”,women use Could you much more than men and therefore act more polite. The findings,however, are contradictory and indicate that this was not the case. Men tend to use the morepolite form Could you, and women tend to use the less polite form Can you. Moreover,requests are in some contexts expressed similarly by men and women. Therefore, the generalclaim about women being more polite in their language may not be correct.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
Keywords [en]
communication, difference, gender, gender regulations, politeness, requests
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-5597OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-5597DiVA, id: diva2:227460
Presentation
2009-06-02, 00:00 (English)
Uppsok

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Available from: 2009-09-09 Created: 2009-07-13 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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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