Muted Group Theory Key Terms Dominant group: the group that holds the power in a given culture Sex: biological category divided into male and female Gender: social category consisting of the learned behaviors that constitute masculinity and femininity for a given culture Gender polarization: viewing men and women as polar opposites Second shift: the phenomenon of working women putting in eight hours on the job and another day?s work at home Overview (Kramarae) Language serves its creators better than those in other, muted groups Experiences of the creators are named clearly in language Muted groups appear less articulate Muted groups create their own language to compensate Focus on women as a muted group Assumptions Women perceive the world differently than men Men?s system of perception and expression is dominant Women must translate and express their experiences in male terms Silencing Strategies Ridicule Trivializing women?s speech Ritual Social rituals subordinate women Control Men control media, history books, communication practices Harassment In public, in the workplace Resistance strategies Name the strategies of silencing Reclaim, elevate and celebrate ?trivial? discourse Create a more representative language for women?s experiences CRITICISM OF STANDPOINT AND MGT Both rely on essentialism = generalizations about women and men that assume that they are inherently different There is no universal ?female? or ?male? experience, but general patterns exist
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