Gender Differences in the English Language Economic/Business Discourse Videocast, Comparative Analysis
The paper surveys linguistic comparative analysis of gender differences in the use of economic and/or business discourse comprising in videocast reports retrieved from various channels. The relevance of the article is that the topic has not been profoundly evaluated in the investigation of economic and/or business discourse videocast. The aim of the article is to implement identification of the gender alteration and/or coincidence in professional (economic and/or business) discourse. The paper musters inductive and quantitative approach to the analysis that reveals the percentage of favorable results of the appliance of each gender linguistic category in professional speech for both sexes: male and female. Considering samples from different videocast news reports, interviews, discussions, debates, lecturing videos assessing them for male and female economic and/or business communications involving the professional discourse, as a result of the research the investigation unfolds hypothesis that the economic and/or business discourse endorsement is almost indistinguishable from a gender.
Keywords: Economic/business discourse, gender linguistics, sociolinguistics, videocast
The article illustrates the ejection and affirmation of gender differences and commonness of various videocasts involving economic/business discourse. The purpose of the research is to evaluate the vocabulary use and syntactic construction in economic discourse pronounced by both male and female.
The research is implemented through the theoretical evaluation of economic discourse. Contextual and conceptual analysis through sociology and gender studies, comparative evaluation and methodological analysis revealing male and female speech behavior models are involved into the investigation.
The concept of “gender” and its scientific evaluation stepped into modern linguistic paradigm in the second half of the 20th century. The very first disclosures were implemented in the Western part of the Earth. Exactly here scientist started to evaluate and compare the speech difference between male and female (Holmes, 2007).
Till 1958, the term “gender” was used in linguistics to identify the grammatical gender of nouns. Psychoanalyst Robert Stoller (1984) first used the term “gender” as sex in the social sense. He summarized the results of his research in several books and delivered a report at the congress on the topic of gender identity. He argued that the term “sex” includes a set of anatomical and physiological characteristics, thus, it refers to biology, and the term "gender" means a set of social norms, values, and reactions that form individual personal traits, related to culture and psychology.
Gender linguistics is rendered as a scientific field dealing with gender studies and language use by involving conceptual apparatus (Kirilina, 1999; Maksimenko et al., 2020).
The pioneer of study of gender linguistics as a branch of sociolinguistics is assumed to be Robin Lakoff (1975). He delivered his scientific research in the paper titled as “Language and Woman’s Place. The paper emerged the verification that women denote various ways of communication. He interprets women’s speech “tentative, trivial, powerless” (Lakoff, 1975). According to the theory of Lakoff, women do not own convincing characteristics.
The analysis is executed through the inductive and quantitative approach.
As an applied material, there have been selected 341 examples involving speech of both genders. The sentences serving as an example to affirm or discard the hypothesis that speech of both sexes differs or coincides from linguistics perspectives are taken from various news and report channels reviewing the speakers’ ideas discussing profoundly some economic/business issues.
Discourse creates a communication procedure. Economic/business discourse videocast is a tool constructing speech considering human cognition, cultural and phycological peculiarity of the audience (Benveniste, 1981). Economic/business videocast reports cover the following topics: unemployment, recession, inflation, trading, accounting, audit, etc.
To elaborate scientific analysis ten various, disparate gender linguistic categories stated by various researchers are considered. One of the most discussed categories in gender linguistics is “brevity of speech”. Lakoff (1975) and Zemskaya (1990) assure that in daily conversations, women’s speech contains much longer sentences involving more descriptive details than men’s one. Women are more likely to involve “interjections and exclamations” into their speech.
As a matter-of-fact conversations containing economic/business discourse discards the above-mentioned theory. According to the research over economic/business topics, men and women do not even try to embrace brevity, for the scientific analysis shows that the sphere is so vast that needs a huge number of contributions over any reviewed issue. It requires more specific discussions over each phenomenon (Hochschild, 1979).
The upcoming gender linguistic category is “tag questions”. In everyday speech, women generally involve tag questions more frequently than men (Holmes, 2007). Virtually, conversations embracing economic/business discourse contradict the aforementioned theory. The sentence illustrated below, as one of many sample passages, involves a short talk by Ray Dalio (hedge fund manager). In the videocast report, he vividly makes the use of tag question “right?” more than twice.
I think like you know three major themes that we have to understand…right?... the creation of too much debt and too much money…right?... and the amount that never existed in our lifetime but existed many times in the past 1930-45 number one so we’ll talk about that I hope number two is the internal conflict populism of the left and the right… (Dalio, 2022a, http)
Gender differences lead to various communication styles, but social contacts can also lead to varying communication styles and techniques (Malyuga, 2019; Malyuga & Rimmer, 2021). Justifying intonation, friendliness, a degree of inclination, intensity of posture, and calm gesticulation are more likely to be expressed in women’s speech and facial expressions than in men’s one (Lakoff, 1975). The determination is valid for economic/business discourse videocast speeches as well. Taking a look at two political figures’ speeches, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and Donald Trump, discussing the same topic “inflation”, it is noticeable the soft and convincing answer from the side of Cortez and radical answer of Trump which is illustrated through such words as adj. “devastating”, noun “revenge” and so on.
However, it is hard to say which answer works more convincing for the audience.
I think, particularly, when we have this, this conversation in the context of inflation as well, it’s really not just labor, it’s not just rising wages, but there’s a lot of different dynamics that, I think, are contributing to the increase in prices whether it’s supply chain complications, yes, labor issues, but sometimes lack of labor, lack of the ability to be able to work consistently in their jobs which is also tied to pandemic controls. (Cortez, 2022, http)
Well, it looks to me like inflation is going to revenge our country, I was there a long time ago with Jimmy Carter as president, and the inflation was devastating where rates went, you had a prime rate that went up to 21, which is not even believable when you think of it, and I saw things during that period as a businessman that I have never quite seen even since, and we’ve had some recessions but, uh, not since… (Trump, 2021, http)
“Expletives” are unnecessary words or phrases that do not add any meaning to the sentence. They are referred to as “redundant pairs”, “empty words”, or “meaningless phrases” that women are likely to involve into their speech more than men (Zemskaya, 1990). In the reports identifying economic/business discourse, “empty words” and “redundant pairs” are mostly used by women than men. The following example contains the expletive “actually” that belongs to the category “empty words”.
Actually, about the narratives especially in China and there are a lot of stories, a lot of competing stories of why China developed so fast, how it developed so fast, somebody even call it China miracle to study about,… but…, so, we tend to think that whenever there is a good economic result that indicates that there is good governance, there is good institutions or everything is good. (Jingfang, 2018, http)
Unlikely “empty words” and “redundant pairs”, the expletive “meaningless phrases” is equally used by both genders. The following example illustrate the embracement of the meaningless phrase “I think” for several times.
I think Adina put it reasonably, well, I think you’ve got a number of externalities that have increased the magnitude of uncertainty, and, so, all of us, you know, are taking a conservative view, we are… so, also on the tech side growing over tremendous growth during the pandemic, I mean, people were locked in their homes, had nowhere to go, they had to do everything online, whether it be exercise classes or shopping and, so, we are growing over that growth at the same time, so, I think there is a big difference, you know, many of the companies today, including PayPal, we have very strong free cash flow, we’ll do five billion dollars of free cash flow this year, very strong balance sheets… (Shulman, 2022, http)
Women’s everyday speech elaborates more emotiveness than men’s one (Alkhammash, 2021). It is displayed in a greater use of affectively and emotionally charged lexis, interjections, metaphors, comparisons, and epithets. Women use more words that describe their feelings, emotions, and physiological states (Hirschauer, 1994). Women often use exclamatory sentences that express their feelings and the power of saying, whereas men often use declarative sentences (Zemskaya, 1990).
Economic sphere also should consider emotive charge and evoke some feelings among the audience (Bandelj, 2009; Malyuga & Madinyan, 2021).
However, economics does not denote an emotional range so much (Piotrovskaya & Trushchelev, 2022). As for economists or people related to the sphere, they do not illustrate so many emotions into their speech. Usually, the vocabulary involved into their speech comprises only professional framework (Malyuga & McCarthy, 2020). That is the reason why economic/business conversations can include exclamatory sentences on a rare basis. The videocast research implements the equally small number of usage by both men and women. The upcoming example ejects the theory for economic/business discourse. Unlike everyday speech, professional (economic/business) language involves more specific answers from the side of women (Malyuga & McCarthy, 2018).
Back in 2010 we wrote for the Kansas City FED for the…for the Jackson Hole conference, what the next 10 years after the global financial crisis looked like, and it was taking stock of the aftermath of major shocks, you know, so, this certainly classifies as a major shock and these kinds of events leave lasting consequences. (Reinhart & Reinhart, 2020, http)
Which is really different for men and women - is the “use of literary style”. Women like to use words and phrases belonging to literary style, such as journalistic clichés or poetic words (Lakoff, 1975).
Also, females are stricter in the use of language since they tend to use standard language and to follow its “grammar rules” whereas men like to make some changes. The hypothesis is true since women try to talk more grammatically correct and do not make any mistakes (Zemskaya, 1990), which is also true for economic/business discourse. The following example illustrates a very vivid mistake made by the speaker Reinhart. He uses auxiliary verb (do) before the pronoun (you) but the sentence is not a question mark one.
“So the sad thing is this, really, is the third time we wrote the article for 2008 for the European crisis and one more time for this pandemic depression, what do you need you have to follow Larry Summer’s advice targeted temporary and timely fiscal stimulus, they did back in March with the cares act, they can do it again” (Reinhart & Reinhart, 2020).
Nevertheless, it is significant to mention that men are obsessed with constructing “complex sentences”.
The philosophical approach of men to economic/business phenomena identification is increasing in 21st century in comparison with 20th century.
The upcoming sample identifies the philosophical approach to the “narrative economics” defined by the economist Dr. Shiller illustrated through the descriptive adjectives as “viral” and “moral”. Emphasizing the word “truth” through the contribution of the adjective “real”, he provides a poetic definition to describe the phenomenon.
The empirical sample, comprising a part of various others, also ejects the theory for economic/business discourse as a contradiction to the everyday speech in which women speakers use more adjectives than men (Lakoff, 1975).
Narrative economics, as I define, it is the study of popular narratives. Stories with moral that go viral. Some narratives go viral because they contain real truth and knowledge and are useful (Shiller, 2022, http).
“Jargon” comprises the vocabulary of words used by people engaged in the same activity (profession, social group) that may not be comprehended outside of the context or by other people not belonging to that particular group (Tannen, 1993).
Economic jargon is obviously used by both sexes a lot since they cover up the professional topic. But as it has already been mentioned, women evaluate more poetic approach to the conversation by using a lot of metaphors and descriptive phrases. Men’s speech is usually constructed through jargons. Here is a small passage from the interview with Ray Dalio as an example that comprises a vast use of jargon to define the specific phenomenon. He uses such jargon phrases as “soft money”, “to pay hard”, “hard money”.
There are two ways of dealing with debt. You pay it back in hard money or you pay it back in soft money. You pay it back in hard money and you have a problem, you have a depression, so, throughout history, whenever that was done paid back in hard money, eventually that was abandoned and you print money that was what 71 was, that was what March 1933. (Dalio, 2022b, http)
The research results show that almost all the cases that are defined in everyday speech are used by representatives of both genders on equal basis for economic and/or business discourse.
Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the quantitative and percentage of the research analysis. According to the scientific evidence, the most common gender linguistic categories denoting equal percentage of involvement into the professional (economic and/or business) language are brevity of speech, tag questions, meaningless phrases as a category of expletives, exclamatory sentences and emotiveness.
Female usually include into the professional discourse empty word, redundant pairs, literary style of language and specific communication style. Male’s speech often involves jargon phrases or words, also men make more grammatical language mistakes than women.
The outcome of the research outlines that everyday language use contradicts economic and/or business discourse expressed and determined through various gender linguistic categories. The evidence shows that mostly on the professional basis men and women speech is constructed about correspondingly and it identifies equally the same linguistic analysis both sexes.
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12 October 2022
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Dzhagatspanyan, O. (2022). Gender Differences in the English Language Economic/Business Discourse Videocast, Comparative Analysis. In V. I. Karasik, & E. V. Ponomarenko (Eds.), Topical Issues of Linguistics and Teaching Methods in Business and Professional Communication - TILTM 2022, vol 4. European Proceedings of Educational Sciences (pp. 392-399). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epes.22104.45