Maike Reutler How gender stereotypes are achieved linguistically in AMC’s Mad Men I n this paper, I analyze if and how gender stereotypes are achieved linguistically in the TV-series Mad Men. Since Mad Men makes use of many stereotypical features, especially visually, I want to investigate if these stereotypes also exist in the language used by the characters. The first part deals with the different feminist approaches to linguistics over the years, covering the beginnings of feminist linguistic theory as well as more recent approaches. In the next chapter, I will talk about gender stereotypes and also include the analysis model with which my data will be analyzed. Then, there will be a short discourse about the current state of research regarding gender and TV-Series before moving on to the main part of this paper, the actual analysis of gender stereotypes in Mad Men. This chapter starts with a brief introduction of the TVseries itself and then covers the single topics from the analysis models and gives examples for each of them. Although my data is not naturally occurring dialogue but scripted speech, according to Norrick and Spitz (2010:84) “scripted humorous dialogue derives from and builds on everyday conversational humor”. The same is of course true for every kind of dialogue, be it humorous or otherwise. Hence, they argue that “scripted dialogue is comparable to naturally-occurring talk in all relevant aspects on the macro and micro-levels of discourse” (Norrick et al. 2010:84). For my analysis as well as for parts of my composition, I will draw on Behm’s disserta- tion about gender-specific conversational behavior in … ‘Sex and the City’. 1. Feminist Linguistic Theory 1.1 Research Approaches According to many researchers, the second wave of feminism marks the starting point of feminist linguistic theory, as it brought attention and awareness of women’s rights and place in society to a broad number of scholars.1 But even before the second wave, there has been a notion of language and gender, although not comparable to what it is today. Jespersen investigated in this field, but his research was not based on evidence but on unjustified claims he made, based on the opinions of others, such as authors, and on his own prejudices, according to Talbot (2010:468-9). Most, if not all of the early work on language and gender is based on the stereotypes and prejudices of a patriarchal society. The first books on language and gender, resulting from the second wave, were not that much different from what Jespersen has written 50 years prior. There still was no evidence to the findings and assumptions were made and turned into theories from what the researchers had experienced or believed themselves. Most notably here are Robin Lakoff’s Language and Woman’s Place (1975) and Dale Spender’s Man Made Language (1980). Although both books received a lot of criticism following their release, they have been crucially important as they paved the path 1 The second wave was the Women’s Liberation Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, which was preceded by the first wave, the suffragette movement of the early 20th century, and followed by the third wave in the 1990s (Sunderland 2006). Journal of Serial Narration on Television, Number 2, Summer 2013 © 2013 Living Handbook of Serial Narration on Television, Saarland University 74 for the feminist linguistic theory to come (Sunderland 2006:13-16). All the early work on woman’s language characterizes it as “lacking, weak, trivial, and hesitant — in short, deficient when compared to men’s language” (Litosseliti 2006:28). 1.1.1 Deficit Approach The deficit approach resulted from Lakoff’s findings and portrayed women as lacking in power and assertiveness in comparison to men (Behm 2009:17). This is due to the fact that women are raised to ‘speak like a lady’, which forces them “to be less dominant and forceful in conversations” (Behm 2009:18). As a result, women are portrayed as being incompetent language users. At the same time, Behm argues (2009:18), if women do apply male conversational features, they are being mocked and disrespected and regarded as unfeminine. 1.1.2 Dominance Approach In the dominance approach, men are considered to be more powerful than women and hence are seen to be the dominant gender that controls the conversation and exerts power over the women in mixed-sex conversations. According to Behm (2009:20), “females are expected and forced to speak in a more subordinate way while males are privileged to dominate conversations”. In this approach, women are once again presented as inferior to men, lacking the powerful skills of the superordinate gender, the men. They are automatically viewed, as Alberts (1992:188) puts it, as “subordinate by virtue of their femaleness”. 1.1.3 Difference Approach This approach is based on the assumption that boys and girls between the ages of five and 15 grow up differently and that hence, “men and women are essentially different” (Behm 2009:22). Litosseliti (2006:37) argues that they “learn to use language differently through interacting primarily in single-sex peer groups”. This approach does not label women as insufficient or incapable, but regards men and women as equal but different (Behm 2009:21). Journal of Serial Narration on Television II/2013 Maltz and Borker (in Behm 2009:21) claim that “women and men employ different speech styles”. Women are said to be more “collaborationoriented” in conversation, whereas men are more “competition-oriented” (Borker et al.in Behm 2009:21). 1.1.4 Communities of Practice The most recent approach to language and gender is the communities of practice (CoP) approach. Eckert et al. (in Mills et al. 2011:70) define CoP as “an aggregate of people who come together around mutual engagement in an endeavor. Ways of doing things, ways of talking, beliefs, values, power relations — in short, practices — emerge in the course of this mutual endeavor.“ They further note that “through participation in a range of communities of practice … people participate in society, and forge a sense of their place and their possibilities in society” (Eckert et al. 2003:57). Thus, this is a highly different approach to language and gender than the three earlier ones. CoP does no longer concentrate on any assumed differences between men and women or on the power relations between them, but looks at language in a more isolated yet coherent way. In CoP “gender roles are acquired during socialization and conventionalized gender-specific manners are internalized more or less by each person” (Behm 2009:25). But Behm (2009:25) further notes that “the gender of a person is not the only social variable which constructs his or her identity. An individualist approach to gender takes the risk to reduce the perception of human beings in that people are only judged by their gender.” This is of course not a way to approach language, mainly because one cannot assume all women to behave in the same way or all men. Although the CoP approach is more reasonable than the difference approaches, there are still many factors that need to be included and considered in order to avoid the stereotypical views that are fixed in society’s minds. Maike Reutler: How gender stereotypes are achieved linguistically in AMC’s Mad Men 2. Gender Stereotypes 2.1 Gender vs. Sex In accordance with language and gender, it is important to also focus on gender itself. In recent years, there has been a constant discussion on how sex and gender are not the same thing. Judith Butler put forth the theory that sex and gender are, in fact, not synonymous but two distinct concepts. According to her, whereas sex is biologically given to humans and puts them into the category of either a man or a woman, gender is socially and culturally constructed (Butler in Eckert et al. 2003:10). As such, Butler (1999:173) describes “the gendered body [as] performative” and it can be attributed with either male or female characteristics. This can be easily summed up into the statement that sex is what we are, while gender is what we do (West et al. in Eckert et al. 2003:10). Eckert et al. (2003:11-13) argue that although biology creates two prototypes, male and female, it does not account for the “many individuals who do not fit those prototypes in a variety of ways.” Thus “even where there are biological differences, these differences are exaggerated and extended in the service of constructing gender” (Eckert et al. 2003:11-13). Hence, Litosseliti (2006:11) states that everyone is in charge of their own “’gendering’ or ‘doing gender’” in order to be the person society acknowledges them for. But in order to have a homogenous society, consisting of the prototypes male and female, gender stereotypes come into being and support the interest of the patriarchal society, being ignorant to everything they consider abnormal. 2.2 Stereotyping Gender stereotypes are a universal phenomenon: every culture has them, but the distinct features that they ascribe to them do vary from one culture to the next. According to Cameron (1988:8), “to stereotype someone is to interpret their behavior, personality and so on in terms of a set of common-sense attributions which are ap- 75 plied to whole groups.” Gender stereotypes are oversimplifications, exaggerations, generalizations and reductions of men and women (Basow 1992:2ff). They put them into very different, distinct categories and assign them with a fixed set of characteristics, for example: women love to gossip whereas men do not engage in this activity. It is important that the two stereotypes of men and women are always two complete opposites, as in the example above, where one group does something that the other one does not. Talbot (2010:472) says that “gender stereotypes [are] linked to gender ideology [to] reproduce naturalized gender differences. In doing so, they function to sustain hegemonic male dominance and female subordination.” So it is not surprising that the characteristics ascribed to men are always positive whereas the ones ascribed to women tend to be neutral or negative. However, there are different stereotypes for different social classes, countries, societies, races and so on. Most research has been done on the US prototype of the “White, middle-class, heterosexual, and Christian” person, according to Basow (1992:4). As I use some of Basow’s stereotype features later on in my analysis model, this is an important factor. Since the background of the people in my data matches the prototype described above, I can safely use her research. Stereotypes are not fixed but change over time. This is also an important factor concerning my data: since the series is set in 1960s New York, it is rather desirable not to have the latest analysis model but to look for a model from around that time. For this reason I will mix the rather new analysis model by Behm with features from Basow’s work. Within gender stereotypes, there have been several subtypes. However, the subtypes for female stereotypes are more precise than the ones for male stereotypes. Basow (1992:6) lists three female subtypes: “the housewife (the traditional woman), the professional woman (independent, ambitious, self-confident) and the Playboy bunny (sex object).“ All these three types of Journal of Serial Narration on Television II/2013 76 women are also represented in my data. Male subtypes are less clear and less defined than female ones, but the “traditional man stereotype” consists of the following features: “status (the need to achieve success and others’ respect), toughness (strength and self-reliance) and antifemininity (avoidance of stereotypically feminine activities)” (Basow 1992:6). Of course some people respond more to a stereotype or subtype than others. These people share more features of a stereotype, but overall there is no one who fully corresponds to one fixed stereotype (Basow 1992:9). 2.3 Analysis Model My analysis model is comprised of characteristics from various researchers, as I find this to be a better way to approach my data than using one fixed model. The problem with my data is, since it is not naturally occurring but scripted speech that some features, such as interruptions or minimal responses, are likely not to be found in order to make the conversation more fluid on TV. Therefore I compiled a list from several researchers and, from this list, chose six points, which I will apply to my data. The several features are taken from Basow (1992), Behm (2009), Fishman (1978), Monedas (1992) and Talbot (2010). I will only give a brief overview here in form of a chart, since I will look at each of the features in more detail in the analysis later on. Men Women talk more and longer make more statements lesser use of tag questions use of neutral adjectives listen more ask more questions frequent use of tag questions use of empty adjectives use of weaker expletives frequent use of qualifiers use of swear words lesser use of qualifiers As mentioned in 3.2, men and women are expected to behave and talk contrarily: if men talk more, automatically, women listen more. Naturally thus, this analysis model consists of opposites. The several points will be further discussed and applied to the data in chapter 5. 3. TV-series and Gender Recent years have seen a sudden ‘explosion’ in the research on gender in TV-series, especially in dissertations and papers. One such dissertation is oft quoted in this work, the work by Behm about gender-specific conversational behavior in … ‘Sex and the City’. There are many other works that also focus on Sex and the City, but also on other series, such as Angel, Buffy or Gilmore Girls. A lot of works do not only focus on one TVseries, but look at gender in a broader context, such as Milestone and Meyer’s work Gender and popular culture (2012). It gives a great historical overview of gender in relation to popular culture and then goes on to discuss the representation of men and women and how gender is consumed. Although websites and blogs may not be as scientific as the research works mentioned before, nevertheless they proved to be very good sources. The internet offers many articles on gender in (specific) TV-series that it is hard not to be overwhelmed. Although some articles are not as reliable and informative, there are many one can draw on for scientific research. Especially on Mad Men, there are countless articles, even blogs. Of course, many topics are repeated and theories copied, there have nonetheless been a few helpful links. Surprisingly, a great number of popular science books have been written on Mad Men since it has made its debut in 2007. In every book there is at least one chapter on gender or the way women are represented in the series. A selection of works on Mad Men are Mad Men: Dream come true TV by Edgerton (2011), Mad Men and Philosophy by Carveth et al. (2010), The Real Mad Men by Cracknell (2011), Analyzing Mad Men by Stoddart (2011) and the practical episode guide Kings of Madison Avenue by McLean (2009). These books have given me a very good background knowledge of the situation of women in the 1960s, however I will not be able to use much of it, since they did not cover linguistic topics. Maike Reutler: How gender stereotypes are achieved linguistically in AMC’s Mad Men 4. Gender stereotypification in Mad Men 4.1 Mad Men Mad Men is an American dramatic television series that is set in 1960s New York. It concentrates on the lives of the men and women who work at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue, first and foremost Donald Draper, the creative executive of the company, who is married to Betty (“the housewife”, see 2.2) and lives with her and his two children in a house in the suburbs. The series starts with the first day of Don’s new secretary, Peggy Olson (“the professional woman”, see 2.2), who will quickly rise from secretary to copywriter, a path only few women were able to take back then. Most women stayed secretaries until they were lucky enough to marry a man who could provide for them, or if not, they kept working in the lower ranking jobs. If they proved to be extraordinary good at their jobs, they could become office manager, such as Joan Holloway (the “Playboy bunny”, see 2.2). According to Cicco (2008), “this is an era in which men are cigarette-smoking, whiskydrinking, bring-home-the-bacon men and the women are showpieces. The housewives are expected to (a) look good (b) perform sexually and (c) keep the home and the children spotless. Meanwhile the women in the workplace — mostly those in the secretarial pool — are expected to (a) look good (b) perform sexually and (c) professionally cover for the men when they screw up. “ These are very stereotype descriptions of men and women and that is the reason why this series also serves to be analyzed linguistically in terms of gender stereotypes. “Praised for its exquisite period detail and subtle, yet powerful allusions to the bubbling undercurrents in terms of the women’s movement …, Mad Men skillfully presents us with a vehicle through which to gain a deeper insight into men’s and women’s roles at work and at home in this most radically changing decade”(Milestone et al. 2012:44). McDonald (2011:124), McLean (2009:42ff), 77 Murugan (2011:174), Haralovich (2011:161), Benezri (2010) and others mention the influence of Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl (1962) on the female characters of the series, especially Joan and Peggy and the rest of the secretarial pool. In the same way, Betty Friedan’s theory of “the problem that has no name” in The Feminine Mystique (1963) serves as inspiration for the housewives, such as Betty and her neighbor Francine, according to Haralovich (2011:161), Murugan (2011:174), McLean (2009:94ff), Davidson (2011:137), Cracknell (2011:195) and others. Although both books have been published in 1962 and 1963 respectively, and the first season is set in 1960 they can very well serve as a source of influence since the show was written 50 years later. In my analysis, I will concentrate only on the first season, due to the limited number of pages available. 4.2 Talking vs. Listening In their research, Monedas (1992:199), Talbot (2010:475) and Basow (1992:58) all found out that men talk more than women and for longer periods than women and that women thus listen more. Although modern society, and Basow (1992:58) as well, is more familiar with the “talkative female stereotype”, the above research suggests otherwise. For my research I looked at every conversation between equal numbers of males of females involved (e.g. one man and one women) and counted the words they uttered in mixed-sex conversations. I then created a chart consisting of the number of words said by men and the number of words said by women. Additionally, I created a chart on the gender dominance of the conversations, indicated by the amounts of words uttered (e.g. if a woman used more words, then she dominated the conversation). Since the data consists of private as well as business conversations, it was necessary to distinguish if the conversation was private or business. According to the characters involved in the conversation it was easy to decide if it was business or private, since 78 Don and Peggy only talked at work and had no private contact, the same goes for Pete and his wife Trudy, who only talk in a private and not in a business environment. But there was one case where the conversation shifted from business to private over the course of the season: Don and Rachel who first met as business partners and who later became lovers. Overall women dominated 50 out of 91 conversations and men only dominated 41. This is not that big a gap so that it would be fair to say that there is an equal dominance of conversations between men and women. 37 private conversations were dominated by women and 28 by men, whereas business conversations have seen equal distribution with 13 been dominated by men and also 13 by women. Hence, women dominate private conversations slightly more often than men, which contradicts the findings of Basow, Talbot and Monedas. At a closer look, especially Betty changes her conversational behavior when talking to her husband or when talking to another man on a business basis. She dominates the private conversations with her husband 19 times more often and the amount of words she uses is also much higher. Contrarily, when she talks with men on a business basis, these men always talk much more than she does. This might suggest that she behaves as expected of her feminine stereotype in public or in matters of business and does not obey to the stereotype in a private environment. Betty’s husband Don does indeed not talk more than women in private conversations. This is also visible in the conversations with his lover Midge, which she always dominates. But there is a change with his later lover Rachel. Both equally dominate the private conversations, which somehow proves what he tells her, that she is indeed the only one who really knows him. In their business conversations, Rachel was the one to dominate. Don’s and Peggy’s business conversations are equally dominated by both of them, although numbers suggest that Peggy dominates, the differences in words are so little that it is safe to say that there is equal domi- Journal of Serial Narration on Television II/2013 nance. Pete’s and Peggy’s business conversations are clearly dominated by Pete, just as Peggy’s and Paul’s business conversations are dominated by Paul. This might be a bit strange since the conversations between Peggy and her boss Don are equally dominated whereas her conversations with the junior executives who are higher in rank than her but lower in rank than her boss are dominated by the men. Pete’s private conversations with his wife Trudy are equally dominated by both of them. The one male person who fulfills the stereotype expectation is Roger. He dominates all mixed-sex conversations, except for one, and talks much more than his conversation partners, indicated by the very high number of words he uses. Since men and women equally dominated the business conversations and women only slightly dominated the private conversations, this stereotype of men talking and women listening proves wrong. It will be interesting to see if the following investigations show a similar result or if they will prove the stereotype right. 4.3 Statements vs. Questions In order to keep the conversation going, Fishman (1978:94) and Behm (2009:33) both find women to ask more questions than men. Men, on the other hand, are said to be making more statements. So, according to Fishman (1978:94), women ask questions in order to ensure the conversation, but they also work hard at keeping the conversation going. So when a man just utters a statement, the woman will give an answer, in order to make the conversation work. Whereas when a woman makes a statement, the conversation mostly fails since men do not participate in the same way women do. This aspect from Fishman’s (1978:97) observation about topic initiation does also apply to questions and statements. In my analysis on this topic I proceeded the same way as with the analysis on talking vs. listening. I looked at all mixed-sex conversations that had equal amounts of participants Maike Reutler: How gender stereotypes are achieved linguistically in AMC’s Mad Men from each sex and counted how many questions were uttered by each sex in comparison to the statements. Again, I then distinguished between business and private conversations and compiled all the results in a chart. Overall, there were 1224 utterances by men and 1222 by women, which serves as a good basis since it is basically the same amount. 247 of the questions were asked by men and 202 by women, whereas 977 of the statements were made by men and 1020 by women. This again contradicts the stereotypical expectation of women asking more questions than men and men making more statements than women. The result is basically again equally distributed, with men asking more questions (approximately 20%) and women making slightly more statements (approximately 5%). Next, I investigated in the distribution of statements and questions in private and business conversations. In 36 private conversation men asked more questions than women, and women did so in 26 private conversations (approximately 28% difference). In 24 private conversations men made more statements, and women did so in 35 private conversations (approximately 32% difference). In 19 business conversations then men asked more questions than women, and women only did so in seven business conversations (approximately 64% difference). In 18 business conversations men made more statements than women, and women did so in 13 conversations (approximately 17% difference). Thus, especially in business conversations the stereotype is reversed to men asking more questions than women and women making slightly more statements than men. In private conversations the stereotype is also reversed, but not as strongly as in the business conversations. Thus, it seems as if men are working harder at keeping the conversation going than women. While the analysis on talking vs. listening proved the stereotype to be wrong and which resulted in equal dominance, this analysis on questions vs. statements proves the stereotype not only to be wrong but also to be the other way around. 79 These results make it even more interesting to see what the following analysis will bring. 4.4 Tag Questions Although questions have been analyzed in the previous chapter, tag questions are slightly different. According to Yule (2006:251), tag questions consist “of an auxiliary (e.g. don’t) and a pronoun (e.g. you) [and are] added to the end of a statement”. Behm (2009:60f) also counts the adverb right at the end of a sentence as a tag questions, since it serves the same purpose as a tag question, namely to seek affirmation from the conversational partner. Women are expected to ask more tag questions than men, because it is believed that they seek affirmation from their male conversational partners more often than vice versa. This again underlines women’s alleged “insecurity and lack of selfconfidence” (Behm 2009:34). Thus, in my analysis I counted the tag questions as defined by Yule and also included the adverb right as a form of tag question. Again, I concentrated on mixed-sex conversations with equal amounts of participants from each sex. I counted and wrote down the tag questions they used and then compiled a list of the number of tag questions used by men and women, distinguishing again between business and private conversations. Tag questions are not used a lot by the participants, but overall men use twice as many tag questions as women. In private conversations men made use of ten tag questions whereas women only used half as many. In business conversations it is even less: men used five tag questions and women only two. If I did not count the adverb right or other similar forms, which seek affirmation from the conversational partner, such as huh, or you know, the result would be different. Then men and women would use an equal amount of tag questions, both in private and in business conversations. But overall, they only used nine proper tag questions, as defined by Yule. Below are examples as to why the adverb right and other forms can be used as tag questions as well. 80 “Ladies Room” (S1.02) Paul: I mean, you can always tell when a woman’s writing copy, but sometimes she just might be the right man for the job, you know? Paul wants Peggy to understand what he is saying, which is underlined by his expression you know. But he also wants her to participate in this conversation, thus seeking affirmation. “Ladies Room” (S1.02) Paul: But there is someone else, right? Paul seeks affirmation from Peggy that his assumptionis indeed right. “Long Weekend” (S1.10) Roger: So you saw it, huh? Instead of saying huh?, Roger could also have said didn’t you?. Nevertheless, this is an assumption that Joan saw the movie and he seeks her affirmation. Hence, even without taking into account the proper tag questions, the stereotypical expectation does not apply here either. At best, men and women make equal use of tag question. But when taking into account other forms that function as tag question, it is clear that men ask twice as many tag question as women. Hence, they are apparently seeking more affirmation by their conversational partner, which in turn makes them seem insecure and lacking self-confidence. This is now the third analysis that has proven the stereotypical expectations of men and women to be false. 4.5 Adjectives Women are said to use “empty adjectives … in order to show [their] admiration or support”, according to Behm (2009:27f). Lakoff (in Behm 2009:27f) first characterized certain adjectives as being “empty” or “typically female”, such as adorable, charming, sweet, lovely, cute or fabulous. On the other hand are the neutral adjectives, such as great, good or nice, which are used by both men and women. As before, I looked at mixed-sex conversations with equal amounts of participants from every sex. I then compiled a list of the adjectives used and divided them up into the Journal of Serial Narration on Television II/2013 categories men and women and the subcategories private and business. I then picked out all the adjectives that stroke me as being empty adjectives, the ones that have a somehow exaggerated meaning of the regular adjective good. Those empty adjectives were: gorgeous, super, amazing, magnificent, lovely, splendid, wonderful, exciting, cute, fetching, sweet, terrific, fascinating and delightful. Overall, women used these empty adjectives twice as often as men. The same goes for the business and private conversations; the adjectives have been used twice as often by women in private conversations and three times more often in business conversations. The overall use of empty adjectives is not very high in comparison to the overall use of all adjectives. Below are examples of specific situations in which such empty adjectives have been used. “Marriage of Figaro” (S1.03) Don: I can see the charm, but … the room is too dark, too old-fashioned. The products look old. Rachel: But the people look wonderful. Rachel uses this adjective to underline her point of view of how much she likes this room and its effect. It is an exaggerated version of the word great or good, which is exactly what she wants it to be. The adjective itself has no deeper meaning, it is indeed empty. “New Amsterdam” (S1.04) Tom: You have it made: martini lunches, gor geous women parading through — in my next life, I’m coming back as an ad man. The adjective is used here to describe women. Apparently it is then ok for a man to use an empty adjective if it is used for describing women. “Babylon” (S1.06) Roger: Did you like the pearl necklace I gave you? Joan: It’s gorgeous. In this case, gorgeous is used by a woman to describe jewelry she just got. She intends to tell Roger how much she likes the necklace he gave her, so she uses an exaggerated and empty adjective. Maike Reutler: How gender stereotypes are achieved linguistically in AMC’s Mad Men “The Hobo Code” (S1.08) Trudy: We could even walk. Pete: It’s thirty blocks. Trudy: It’s lovely weather. Trudy wants to underline how great the weather is and makes use of an exaggerated adjective. “Shoot” (S1.09) Ronnie: The good news is your have two wonderful sets of pictures to start your book again. Ronnie just told Betty that they will not keep her as the model for the Coca Cola campaign and in order to console her, he exaggerates in telling her how great the pictures of her are, using the adjective wonderful. The analysis shows that this stereotype expectation has indeed proven right. Although men do make use of empty adjectives, they use them only half as often as women. And if they do, it was mostly to console a woman or to describe a woman. It would thus indeed be interesting to see if men would even use any empty adjectives when they were in a conversation with only males. 4.6 Vulgar Language Lakoff (in Behm 2009:28) and Basow (1992: 58) investigated in the different use of swear words, vulgar language and profanity by men and women. Whereas it is okay for men to use vulgar expressions, if they are not in the company of women, according to Basow (1992:58), it is never okay for a woman to use such expressions. Lakoff (in Behm 2009:28) claims that women use “’weaker’ expletives like Oh dear! or Oh, my goodness!” in order to express their anger or other strong feelings. As in the analyses before, I again looked at mixed-sex conversations and compiled a list of the vulgar expressions used. I distinguished between men and women and business and private conversations. The expressions used by men and women were the following: My God, Jesus, a hell of, bullshit, damn, bastard, town pump, shit, damn it, dammit, Oh Jesus, Oh my God, Thank God, Oh my Lord, My God, Oh my, gosh and oh shoot. This list makes it clear that most ex- 81 pressions are vulgar expressions and that only a few are weak expletives, namely the last three. Overall men used 17 vulgar expressions, none of them were weaker expletives. Women used a total of 14 vulgar expressions, three of them would be considered weaker expletives. This result already makes it clear that vulgar language is used by both men and women in mixed-sex conversation, whereas the research suggested that it would not be used at all in mixed-sex conversations. In private conversations, men used a total of ten vulgar expressions and women a total of eleven vulgar expressions, one of them being a weaker expletive. Thus in private conversations men and women seem to make equal use of vulgar language. In business conversations, men used overall six vulgar expressions and women only three, two of them being weaker expletives. Hence, there is a visible difference in the use of vulgar expressions by men and women in the business context as opposed to their use of it in their private life. Especially women barely use vulgar expressions in business conversations. This might be because most business relations between men and women in my data consist of the man being in a higher position than the woman, except for Don and Rachel, who are in equal positions. Below are examples of the use of vulgar expressions in business conversations, since these are the ones that display more differences. “Smoke gets in your eyes” (S1.01) Dr. Emerson: I’m going to write you a prescription for Enovid. They’re eleven dollars a month. But don’t think you have to go out and become the town pump to get your money’s worth. Excuse my French. This is a doctor-patient conversation in which the doctor uses the vulgar expression town pump to underline what he has said before. He wants the woman to refrain from the misuse of the pill and thereby warns her about promiscuity in a somewhat funny 82 way. In order to weaken his expression a bit, he says Excuse my French, indicating that he is well aware of the vulgar expression he used. “Babylon” (S1.06) Rachel: Am I the only Jew you know in New York City? Don: You’re my favorite. Rachel: Jesus, Don, crack a book once in a while. This is the only business conversation in which a woman uses profanity. Rachel used it here, because she is annoyed and simultaneously shocked about Don’s lack of knowledge. It is okay for Rachel to use this expression, because she is in an equal position business-wise as Don. However, Jesus does not seem that harsh an expression since it is used a lot by the characters (overall six times), but it nevertheless is profanity. “The Hobo Code” (S1.08) Pete: I mean marriage is a lot different than I pictured it. Peggy: Well, gosh, Pete, give it a chance. Peggy uses a weak expletive here, in order to come off like a woman. This was shortly after Pete’s and Peggy’s affair, and she certainly would not like him to think of her as a man. Additionally, Peggy is lower in rank than Pete, business-wise. She could have said Jesus here, as Rachel did above, but her position in the company does not allow it. “The Hobo Code” (S1.08) Sal: Good for her. She deserves it. Lois: Yeah. If you’re free you could come join us. We’re going to, um, oh shoot, it’s um… Sal: PJ Clark’s? Lois tries to charm Sal here, which is obvious from the storyline. She has a crush on him and tries to convince him to come to the bar with her to celebrate. Obviously she wants to seem feminine and behaves according to stereotype expectations. If she had used a stronger vulgar expression, Sal could have been put off by her manly behavior, which in turn would have been contra productive to her goal to woo him. The result shows that men use slightly more vulgar expressions than women, but that both sexes make equal use of it overall, especially in private conversations. This again contradicts the stereotypical expectations of Journal of Serial Narration on Television II/2013 no use of vulgar language in mixed-sex conversations. However, in business conversations, women use only one vulgar expression and otherwise only weaker expletives. Men do indeed use vulgar expressions, although in the company of women. One possibility might be to show off their higher rank in the company. As this analysis proved to be partly true, there are now three analyses that contradicted the stereotypical expectations and one and a half which proved it true. 4.7 Qualifiers According to Basow (1992:58), women use more qualifiers than men. In her definition a qualifier (e.g. I guess, maybe) demonstrates “a lack of assertiveness and more politeness on the part of the female” (Basow 1992:58). Since she does not give any clearer examples of what exactly qualifiers are, in my analysis qualifiers are parts of speech that indicate uncertainty, such as the following: I suppose, I’m pretty sure, what if, I think, I don’t think I can, I’m just not sure, it might have, maybe, I guess, it seems, they probably, they say and really?. Overall, women used twice as many qualifiers in their speech as men (28-15). In private conversations men used nine qualifiers and women fourteen, and in business conversations men used six qualifiers and women fourteen. Again, it is best to give examples of the conversation situations in which qualifiers were used. “Smoke gets in your eyes” (S1.01) Rachel: Is that right? Don: I’m pretty sure about it. Don’s use of the word pretty indicates that he is not completely sure about his statement. If he were, he would leave the qualifier out. “Ladies Room” (S1.02) Paul: Have you seen it? The Twilight Zone? Peggy: I don’t think so. Paul asks Peggy if she has seen the series ‘The Twilight Zone’, and apparently Peggy cannot remember if she has seen it or not, so she answers using the qualifier so in ‘I don’t think so’, indicating her uncertainty. “Babylon” (1.06) Roger: So you think you’d be lonely? Maike Reutler: How gender stereotypes are achieved linguistically in AMC’s Mad Men Joan: I think it’d be half as much fun alone. The utterance I think could also be replaced by I suppose, both signaling uncertainty about the following or previous comment. Joan thinks it might not be as much fun if she would be living by herself, but she is not completely sure of it, hence the use of the qualifier. With women using twice as many qualifiers in their speech as men, this stereotypical expectation has proven right, especially in business conversations where qualifiers are used three times more often by women. The overall result will be discussed in the next and final chapter. 5. Conclusion The analyses in the previous chapter have lead to the final result that the stereotypical expectations are only partly true in my data. The first three analyses on talking vs. listening, statements vs. questions and tag questions all provided results that contradicted or even reversed the expectations of the analysis model. While the amount of talk that men and women produce is equal, instead of men dominating conversations, men ask more questions and more tag questions than women, while it should actually be the other way around, according to the analysis model. But the analyses on adjectives and qualifiers resulted to be in accordance with the expectations of the analysis model. Women do use more empty adjectives than men do and they do use more qualifiers than men, the latter especially in business conversations. The outcome of the analyses on vulgar language was split: in private conversations men and women used the same amount of vulgar expressions, instead of none at all. The stereotypical expectation seemed to be true only in the business conversations, where men did use vulgar expressions but in a small number, and where women mostly used weaker expletives, as expected of them. Thus, if the stereotypical expectations have partly been proven wrong, this can imply that the characteristics ascribed to men and women due to the stereotypification are not 83 true. According to research, men use the prescribed features in order to dominate and exert power over the inferior sex of the women. If now half the analyses turned out to be wrong, does this entail that men and women are actually equals or that there has been a shift to women being the superior and men being the inferior sex, at least in the depiction of them in my data. The differences between private and business conversations should of course not be neglected. Hence, in the TV-series Mad Men, men and women are linguistically portrayed as equals in their private lives, but still as different in the business world, also due to the institutional hierarchy. It could even be argued that there is a shift towards women becoming the superior sex in the private life, since the results from the analyses show mostly the opposite of the expectations, especially in the context of the private conversations. Of course this only applies to the analyzed data and not to the general public. One should also keep in mind, as the series and consequently the data is set to take place in 1960, it is rather uncommon to have the women becoming superior to the men in the private life. Most women had to get approval from their husbands for almost everything bureaucratic, for example they were not allowed to open a bank account without the permission of their husband. For most women, especially housewives of the time it would have indeed been strange to even have their own opinion. They voted Republican because their husband or father voted Republican. They drove a Cadillac because their husband found this to be a suitable car and they would have never been allowed to contradict this. It mostly was oppression by men in these days and the fact that women did not know anything else, because it has always been that way in the patriarchal society they grew up in. Of course the second wave brought with it changes and made women aware of their position and how to improve it, but it had not had such a big impact in 1960, the time the data is set in. So the results of the analyses could also imply that the writers of the show were not that accurate in their linguistic research as 84 they were with other research, since the show reflects so many other aspects of that era flawlessly, especially in fashion, lifestyle and interior design. It would be worth investigating if the show does indeed reflect the other areas correctly, or if the visual picture created is convincing enough to achieve this impression. A lot of research has been done in the field of historic accuracy as well as accuracy of the fashions of the time, and the show has won many prices due to its accurate depiction. Since my analysis only covered the first season of the show, it would be interesting to Journal of Serial Narration on Television II/2013 see if there will be a linguistic change over the course of the, by now, six seasons, as the show moves more into the 1960s and therefore more into the several movements of the time, the women’s movement amongst other things. Maike Reutler The author studied ‘English: Literatures, Linguistics and Cultures’, as well as ‘Comparative Linguistics and Literature’ and works as a research assistant at the International Office at Saarland University for EU’s Erasmus programme. 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