You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Sex and Power in Interaction: Conversational Privileges and Duties
Peter Kollock, Philip Blumstein and Pepper Schwartz
American Sociological Review
Vol. 50, No. 1 (Feb., 1985), pp. 34-46
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095338
Page Count: 13
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
This paper examines conversational behavior which previous research suggests is differentiated on the basis of sex. Interaction is conceptualized in terms of a sexual division of labor wherein men dominate conversation and women behave in a supportive manner. The literature raises the question of whether these differences in conversational patterns are tied to power as well as sex. A study was designed to determine which of a set of variables reflecting conversational duties and privileges are linked to power, to sex, or to both. The data were coded from interactions of intimate couples divided among those with both partners sharing power equally and those where one partner has more power. Three types of couples were compared: cross-sex couples, male couples, and female couples. Interruptions and back channels are linked to power regardless of the sex of the actor, as are tag questions, although the rarity of their occurrence makes any conclusions tentative. The more powerful person interrupts his or her partner more and produces lower rates of back channels and tag questions. Talking time and question asking seemed linked to both sex and power, though not in any simple way. The results of the analyses of minimal responses and overlaps proved inconclusive.
American Sociological Review © 1985 American Sociological Association