GENDER, POLITENESS, AND PERSONAL CHARACTER
TROUGH ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE
This study aimed at analyzing the gender, politeness, and personal character trough English as second language which were used in the social interaction; analyzing the kinds of instructional function implied in the politeness and personal character used; investigating implication of the politeness strategies towards English as second language. The data were taken from literature collecting from the field. The obtained data were in the form of resources in social interactions. The attitude were identified and analyzed descriptively by using tales in order to know the value and personal character, politeness strategy used by character of the tale in this subject. The analysis was continued by identifying and analyzing the functions which were included in the politeness and personal character strategies used by them. The result of the study shows politeness and personal character.
Key words : Gender, Politeness, Personal character, Tale, and English as second language
Gender, politeness, and personal character are the most important one to analyze in studying of English as the second language. In this study, I explore how gender, politeness, and personal character are related to each other generally and how Indonesian male and female speakers show their politeness and character in learning English as the second language. Firstly, in this research I discuss the previous research by expert on language difference by different genders in learning of English of using tale. Then, I deal with the relationship between gender, politeness and personal character based on the general argument about gender role through English as second language based on Holmes (1995). As gender, politeness, and personal character through English as second language, I take a look at the ways of expressing politeness in Indonesian especially in Bima Culture by different genders and personal character. The major theoretical work on politeness and gender has been undertaken by experts of Penelope Brown and Janet Homes and before I discuss more about the real data I found in the field firstly I would like now to discuss their work in order to show how each of them draws on these stereotypes of women's and men's behavior in relation to politeness.
II. Review of Related Studies
According to experts the major theoretical work on politeness and gender has been widely discusses by Penelope Brown and Janet Homes in her book and articles electronic and I would like to discuss their work in order to show how each of them draws on these stereotypes of women's and men's behavior in relation to politeness and personal character related to English as second language learning.
Based on Penelope Brown in her articles on the analysis of politeness amongst of social interaction, argues that women in general are more polite than men Brown, (1980). She states that `in most cultures women among women may have a tendency to use more elaborated positive politeness strategies than men do among men’ Brown, (1980). Her general model of politeness is one associated with care for others: `what politeness essentially consists in is a special way of treating people, saying and doing things in such a way as to take into account the other person’s feelings. On the whole that means that what one says politely will be less straightforward or more complicated than what one would say if one wasn’t taking the other person’s feelings into account’ Brown, (1980) in his electronic article. This statement sees politeness as largely a matter of concern for others. She asserts that this greater use of positive politeness by women is due to power differences, but that power differences can be seen to produce similar behavior in other cultures: `men may assimilate more upper-class dignity and competition for power, while women, excluded from this arena, maintain solidarity ties with one another’ Brown, (1980). However, her results are significantly more complex than this and seem to show just how difficult it is to prove that men as a group or women as a group use politeness in similar ways.
She discusses the way that many linguists have concluded that women’s language tends to be more hyper correct than men’s and hence more formal Brown (1980). In linguists according to Trudgill (1972) claim that this is because women tend to gain prestige through appearance and linguistic behavior, since they cannot gain status through their job or income Trudgill (1972). The assumption that is made is that hyper correctness and use of the prestige variety in English can be assumed to be markers of polite linguistic behavior, and that this type of behavior marks an unstable or insecure social position; thus Brown argues: `it seems reasonable to predict that women in general will speak more formally and more politely, since women are culturally relegated to a secondary status relative to men and since a higher level of politeness is expected from inferiors to superiors’ Brown, (1980). Here, Brown seems to be conflating politeness and negative politeness or deference, and she also seems to be assuming that an inferior social position will necessarily determine the type of language which is produced. However, she goes on to give the example of the Malagasy people where women’s speech is judged to be less polite than men’s, but in this instance, this type of speech is stigmatized by the society as a whole. Therefore, here stereotypes of women's speech are assessed rather than women's actual speech. Brown's work focuses on speaker intentions and she does not concern herself overly with hearer interpretation and judgment, which is clearly crucial in concerns about status in this community.
Brown sees politeness as being concerned with questions of social standing and this she sees as being of great importance for women. For her, since relationships in general are fairly stable, politeness levels are also fairly predictable. If there is a shift in the level or type of politeness used then we are to assume that there has been a change in respect, an increase in social distance or a change of a face threatening nature. She argues that therefore most fluctuations in politeness levels are due to the mitigation of a Face Threatening Act. `Given then a range of politeness levels over a wide range of kinds of acts, we can infer degrees of social closeness and degrees of relative power in relationships. Thus, politeness strategies are a complicated and highly sensitive index in speech of kinds of social relationship’ Brown, (1980). She goes on to ask why and how women are more polite than men and she suggests that `women are either 1) generally speaking to superiors, 2) generally speaking to socially distant persons, or 3) involved in more face-threatening acts, or have a higher assessment than men have of what counts as imposition’ Brown (1980). Whilst this may be correct on a stereotypical level, that in fact in relation to women's linguistic behavior as a whole, these assertions do not necessarily hold.
Her conclusions from this work are that deference prevails when people are vulnerable within a society; thus, women in such a position will use more negative politeness. Positive politeness prevails if and when networks involve multiplex relations, where relations are multistranded. Cameron comments: `Brown's argument, however, is not that politeness works differently for men and women. It is that while both sexes must make the same calculations about the same variables (e.g. social distance, relative status, degree of face-threatening inherent in a communicative act), the different social positioning of men and women make them assign different values to those variables, and therefore behave differently. If Brown had explained the women's `more polite' behavior as a simple consequence of either their feminine gender or their powerlessness she would not have been able to explain the fact that they are differently polite to male and female interlocutors (if it were only femininity, why should there be any difference? If it were only powerlessness, why be polite to your equals other women at all?) 'Cameron (1998) that in this way Brown's work integrates a certain element of heterogen within her notion of women's speech, she still characterizes women are largely powerless, showing at the same time that within this community, there are women who exercise greater interactional power, within particular contexts.
Brown and Levinson fix a section of their finding introduction to the question of gender and here Brown's argument is extended still further so that gender becomes an even more complex variable. They argue: `empirical tests of Lakoff's specific claims that women are more polite than men have by and large failed to substantiate them in detail … but the argument that women have a distinctive `style', due to their distinctive position in society, is still being actively pursued, despite the persistence of negative evidence (no clear sex differences found) in much of the research’ Brown and Levinson (1987). They assert that rather than simply analyzing data for sex differences: `in trying to understand the often very elusive and subtle differences between the language use of men and women we need to be crystal clear about exactly where and how the differences are supposed to manifest themselves' Brown and Levinson, (1987). For example, we need to be clear about whether we are examining differences due to the gender of the speaker or the hearer or both. Of great importance here is the assertion that simply analyzing data for gender difference is not adequate, since `we need constantly to remember the obvious but always pertinent fact that gender is just one of the relevant parameters in any situation, and is indeed potentially irrelevant in a particular situation' Brown and Levinson, (1987).
They are aware of the difficult relationship between gender and the other social variables which they examine in their work. For them, it is difficult to assess whether gender is at work; if we assume that gender and power are the same, since all women are powerless, then we will also have to take into account social distance in relation to gender:. `unicausal explanations in terms of P (that women are universally subordinate to men and therefore more polite) will not do justice to the complexities' Brown and Levinson (1987). Thus, although Brown and Brown and Levinson try to question the assumption that women are necessarily more polite than men, their data in general seems to prove that in most circumstances this is indeed the case. This is partly because their work focuses on speaker intentions and therefore can only deal with intentions to be polite rather than stereotypical assessments of politeness by others, which may be at odds with those intentions.
Drawing on Brown and Levinson's work, Janet Holmes argues that in general women are more polite than men. Her empirical studies belong to the `difference' model of women's language within feminist linguistics, influenced by Coates (1996) and Tannen’s (1991) work on co-operative and competitive strategies. Thus, Holmes asserts that women are more polite than men, as they are more concerned with the affective rather than the referential aspect of utterances since `politeness is an expression of concern for the feelings of others’ (Holmes, 1995:4). Holmes states that she uses a broad definition of politeness, following Brown and Levinson, so that politeness refers to `behavior which actively expresses positive concern for others, as well as non-imposing distancing behavior’ Holmes, (1995). She suggests that women are more likely to use positive politeness than men; thus for her : `women’s utterances show evidence of concern for the feelings of the people they are talking to more often and more explicitly than men’s do’ Holmes, (1995). I aim to contest Holmes’ notion that women are globally more polite than men, arguing that this is in fact based on a stereotypical view of women's language. For some women, this stereotype may be important, but for others it may be something which they actively resist and reject. What is important here is the sense of the variety in the hypothesisation of the stereotype and variety in the response to that stereotype in terms of what behavior is then considered to be appropriate.
Holmes attempts to tackle the question of whether women and men are polite in different ways. When she poses the question, `are women more polite then men?’ she answers: `it depends what you mean by politeness, and it depends which men and which women you are comparing, and it also depends on the context in which they are talking’. Holmes, (1995). However, this focus on the context specific is frequently dispensed with in her work, in order to make larger generalisations. Holmes tries to suggest that there are global similarities amongst women; thus, she asserts that women generally are more likely to be verbally fluent earlier, they are less likely to suffer from reading disabilities and aphasia, but, perhaps more importantly, she asserts that women have a different attitude to language use to men: `Most women enjoy talk and regard talking as an important means of keeping in touch, especially with friends and intimates. They use language to establish, nurture and develop personal relationships. Men tend to see language more as a tool for obtaining and conveying information. They see talk as a means to an end’ Holmes, (1995). This is very similar to the position advocated by other `difference’ feminist linguists, who claim that women and men are brought up in different gendered sub-cultures and thus use language in fundamentally different ways to achieve different ends Coates, (1991).
Based on the explanation found by experts above that the women more politeness than the man in general. Women when they interaction is indirect while the man direct, so equally the women and man are not same as the sex. The relationship with study of gender, politeness, and personal character through English as second language is to combine the data founded in field correlated with previous study as the founded by expert.
Sociolinguistic research suggests that women are more likely than men to use politeness strategies in their speech. Researchers have reported that women pay more compliments than men, that women in talk with same-sex peers use a large number of positive politeness strategies while men in analogous situations do not, and that women are more likely to apologize, soften criticism or express thanks than men. However, most studies of gender variations in politeness have not examined the relationship between situation and language use. In this data drawn from voice mail messages in a legal setting, male speakers’ use of politeness markers was roughly equal to that of women’s. Moreover, positive politeness strategies were used almost exclusively by male speakers, and only by attorneys, and the two speakers who used the greatest number of politeness markers in individual messages were both men. Factors which may play a role in explaining these findings include the one-sided nature of voice mail communications and the fact that the data were generated in a legal setting and that seven of the eleven speakers were attorneys.
Based on gender identity and language differences, females are often marked for using polite structures and more compliments than males. Females do so while searching to foster solidarity in order to sustain social relationships, whereas males usually move others to do. Making compliments is included in the forewarningstrategy. Nevertheless, genders also act vice versa Wardlaugh (2006). As far as politeness markers are concerned, females tend to use phrases like please and thank you more often than males in conversations Wardlaugh (2006). Wareing (2004) also mentions epistemic modal forms that “indicate explicitly the speaker’s attitude towards their utterance.” The purpose is again to avoid conflict and disagreement with the outcome of seeming polite. A further category with a similar function are down toners. Studies propose that the female usage of them is higher than males’. In addition, Lakoff (1975) suggests female speech includes many “super-polite forms” like Would you mind.., thus consultative devices, and also question tags. Wareing (2004) says that in some researches females were proved to use more hedge. For example Lakoff’s theory of “women’s language”agrees on this utterance.
To sum up, as politeness perceptions differ, gendered-politeness does so too. Often it is not easy to determine which factors of interactants were the most influential in speech because each individual is a set of certain characteristics and background. Although the premise of prejudice that females are more polite than males is supported by numerous studies, newer research contests this view. According to this research, the crucial conditions one´s social status rather than gender. I would support this claim by mentioning the fact that throughout history, higher social status was associated only with males which were the basis for gendered language stereotypes but with the ongoing societal development females were given the chance not to follow traditional gender roles but to enforce themselves and thus become equal or even superior to some males. Speaking of politeness, this would convey that females, equal to males, are not required or expected to act and speak over politely.
Gender in language apparently, the relation between gender and language has been the interest of many socio linguists since the second half of the last century and is still ongoing, with new approaches and research. The main topic is, according to Wardlaugh (2006), “the connection, if any, between the structures, vocabularies, and ways of using particular languages and the social roles of the men and women who speak these languages”. However, what is agreed upon is that there are more factors that have to be taken into consideration in such studies; namely age, social class, culture and ethic, religion, sexual orientation, education and job.
Contribution that is extremely influential in this field is the work of Robin Lakoff, especially Language and woman’s place (1975), which is often discussed and at the sometime criticized without diminishing its importance. Her approach to gender and language is based on social inequity, i.e. language is sexist. Coates (2012) calls this approach“social constructionist” which is followed probably by most of the researchers. Secondly,there is the “dominance approach” and thirdly “difference approach”.
That females talk more is a mere stereotype, as well as the fact that they abundantly “gossip, chatter, nag, rabbit, yak and natter”, whereas males do not Wareing (2004). Napoli (200) broadens this list on six claims she studied in the literature: “1. Men interrupt women more than vice versa, 2. Men ignore the topics that women initiate in conversation, 3. Men do not give verbal recognition of the contributions women make to conversation, 4. Men use more curse words and coarse language than women, 5. Men use more nonstandard forms (such as “ain’t”, what’s up, g’ day mike) than women, 6. Men are more innovative,accepting language changes more readily than women.” But these statements often lack support by reliable researches which are often misled by other speakers´ properties and social background. This may be linked with gender identity and thus social status, i.e. males are considered to be hierarchically higher and consequently tend to be given more time for their utterances, especially on formal or business occasions.
On the other hand, females spoke more in non-formal relaxed contexts, were relationship-focused and spoke in more supportive ways. This fact is probably connected with the stereotype of gossiping; male goosip too but clearly in a different way, hand in hand with actuality that their target topics are different than females’ in connection with female behavior for the sake of gender identity and role.
Deborah Tannen discusses, that due to the fact males speak a language of status and independence whereas females focus on connection and intimacy; their communication is cross-culturally similar and thus it is not easy. She presumes that the appropriate way to get on well with other gender members is to have an understanding of their activities, attitudes and language behavior Wardlaugh (2006).
Concentrating on the lexical level, there is a noticeable asymmetry in English. For example, man refers to male gender but also person in general, including females. Specific kinds of asymmetry consist of marked and unmarked terms, e.g. waiter refers to male gender but is used also for females, even though there is feminine expression waitress. This may lead to women statuses being disparaged in certain situations. Another case is titling; whereas for males there is only Mr., females are divided into Miss/Mrs./Ms., depending on their marital status. The choice of a particular one may be difficult, e.g. for divorced women, and signalizes again the inequality of genders Wareing (2004).
Besides that, Lakoff (1973) points out that females use, unlike males, more colorful vocabulary; names of colours such as mauve, aquamarine, magenta, lavender, as well as empty adjectives like sweet, adorable, charming, divine, etc. Wardlaugh (2006). Yule (2006) states that there are fundamental differences in word/sentence-form choice within each social class speaking of gender. Females usually prefer the higher prestigeform, such as talking rather than talkin’ or I saw it rather than I seen it* (grammatically incorrect form).
III. Research Methods
This study attempts to describe the gender politeness and personal character through English language phenomenon in society especially those that are concerned with the characteristic personality. This qualitative, explainable and synchronic study expresses and explains the data in accordance with the social interaction. This is also called literature study since the data were natural and were directly obtained from the literature.
The data collected for this study are classified into the primary data, the data that are obtained through analyses the data from literature and the secondary data, the data that are obtained from text. The technique employed to analyze the data was descriptive-analytic, and the approach applied was deductive-inductive.
Tale-used in Bimanese Related to Gender, Politeness, and Personal Character. One day living simple family in the rural place in Dompu. The family consist of father, mother, and children. The father name is Ama Hima, the mother is Ina Hawu. They have two childrens namely la Sligolago and la Tamperamasani. AmaHima and Ina Hawu are farmer they working with their rice field twice a year they planting rice. If the rainy season coming they tend to move to the mountain to planting the rice field or we can called in Bimanese 'Ngoho'. When musim ngoho has come usually on August-December they leaved their home to go to the mountain and live there until they pick up their rice, and usually they spend times around 6 months.
When they live at the mountain while having working to the ngoho everyday they clean the grass grown to their rice field. Both their children la Sligolago and la Tamperamasani are lazy to help their parent, much times they spent just for looking for the monkeys defeated their rice field and they don’t want to help their parents in rice filed to clean the grass. Their parents tired with them and they make decision to keep them on the side of river in the far away from their rice field.
So, in one upon time they go to keep their children in far away from them. Walking along the mountain and river with their children la Sligolago and la Tamperamasani. On the way they ask where we want to go? The parents answer we will go to looking for the Karampi or sagu in Indonesia language. A long way their la Sligolago and la Tamperamasani how long we will arrived their parents answer sadore du adore wali it means closely near. After arrived at the side of river the laziest children la Sligolago and la Tamperamasani sit under the three while their parent keep behind them cedo and roa the traditional spoon and pan of Bimanese. La Sligolago and la Tamperamasani keep sit under the three and their parent tell to them that we will looking for the karampi and they leaved them. Actually their parents back home and leaved them. The end of this story both of them becomes monkey and live in forest forever. This happen a long time ago as they lazy and don’t help much their parent or we can call they are curse from their parents. The impact they do not obeying their parents.
The tales is one of the important one in our life to tell to our children. The tales are the generally used by many parents in Sumbawa especially in Bimanese at the recent time or when the electronic are not present at the time. Many of parents when they are going to sleep with their children they will be tell or say to their children especially their mother tell much about the tales or in Bimanese 'mpama'. Tales is one of the way to educate their children at the time as the writer perceive, almost every night when I going to sleep in the night my mother always tell me about the tales 'mpama'. At age of four and five when I in secondary school my mother always tell about the tales and moral value of the tale engage and motivate me to help and study more about the real life at the time.
Based on the tale 'mpama' above the Bimanese culture at the recent time are really important that the value of the moral education of the tales can transfer positive attitude to their children. At the story tale above is one of the famous tales in Bimanese and Dompunese which two characters at the story are boy and girl was really lazy children which they are always reject their parents command when their parents ask to help. On the someday their parents would like to keep them in mountain far away on the side of the river both of them become the monkeys. The value moral of the story tale are engage and motivated the children not to be lazy or unwillingness to help their parents.
In particular, talking to the children are would be change their character and attitude in personality behavior. Hence, in this study are important to build up the awareness of the parents to using the tale in any chance to telling to their children.
VI. Conclusion and Suggestion
There is a great deal more to say about the use of politeness, and gender in the tale, but space precludes a more extensive analysis. What I hope I have shown is that although politeness have a range of conventional associations, and these have been pointed to in the literature on politeness and sociolinguistics, in tale’s text these associations are drawn on in order to generate alternative associations and alternative ways of constructing masculinity. “Politeness theory needs to consider confrontational strategies, if it is to preserve analytical coherence. Furthermore, it is clear that in some circumstances impoliteness plays a key role, not a marginal one”. In Laziest children the use of character to express and contribute towards conflicts related to class and gender works at the level of politeness in that the significance of the dialect choices arises from their ability to threaten or enhance each character’s face. As I have shown however, although in order to generate this effect tale draws on conventional associations between, gender and politeness, the narrative works to undermine the distinctions usually implied by these associations. This is partly enabled by the ability of individual language users to employ indicators of procedural meaning such as dialect switches with a high degree of flexibility, but it is also enabled by the temporary world of the narrative that I set up. It would be interesting to consider how far it is possible to undermine such ideologies without the construction of an alternative world.
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