Point 1) Two-Culture Theory

Also known as the cross-cultural theory of gender communication, Daniel Maltz and Ruth Borker created the two-culture theory (under the descriptive cultural approach) after observing communication problems between men and women from different ethnic groups.  Maltz and Borker conducted an experiment where they would observe the “play” of US boys and girls.  A conclusion was risen that “girls and boys are socialized in different language groups” (DeFrancisco 47).  Maltz and Borker described these views, and once I read it, I could really relate to that as a young kid.  I remember when I was at recess, and I would gather with my group of friends and play a game of football or kickball.  We were all very competitive and wanted to play as long as possible.  On the other hand, the girls were concerned with chattering amongst their friends and keeping a thousand best friends.

Along with chattering, they would sit or walk and watch us play our game…most likely dissing the boy the REALLY liked.  Men’s style of communication is very different from women.  One of my best qualities is being very competitive at whatever I do, and that is typically the characterization of a man’s communication style.  Women tend to show empathy and be supportive to whomever they encounter.  What happens to this theory if a man or woman possess a style/behavior that steers away from the general characteristics?

Point 2) Standpoint Theory

The Standpoint Theory is generated from the critical cultural approach was developed by George Friedrich, then was adapted by many feminist scholars.  A standpoint is a place from which to view the world that determines what we focus on as well as what is obscured from us.  The scholars from the text claim that the social groups to which we belong shape what we know and how we communicate.  This theory can serve as a way in which humans socially construct the world by creating inferior and superior social groups.  I’ve researched this theory in detail and in most cases it relates to feminism (probably because it was adapted by feminist scholars).  However, coming across another blog, someone described a movie in which Whites and African Americans have reversed cultural roles.  The film portrayed blacks as wealthy businessmen with a large sense of power.  Whites were portrayed as the lower class.  It seems as though this film would contain a strong message to not only American viewers, but world viewers.  A question risen from this theory is one in which I received from the text.  The very last sentence regarding the Standpoint Theory states, “The theory also does not question the concept of identity” (DeFrancisco 51).  How does this theory differ if one’s identity is thrown in?

Point 3) Queer Theory

Before I even began reading this main point, I thought to myself that this is a weird name for a communication theory.  This theory puts into question ALL different kinds of sexuality and addresses all categories of sexuality.  An example of the queer theory that the textbook referenced that I found to be interesting was Judith Halberstam’s reference to Mike Myers in Austin Powers.  To put this theory together, it builds both upon feminist challenges to the idea that gender is part of the essential self and upon gay/lesbian studies’ close examination of the socially constructed nature of sexual acts and identities.  Does gender aim to normalize people by trying to categorize them?

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