By Deborah Tannen Random Fighting for Our Lives Conflict can’t be avoided in our public lives any more than we can avoid conflict with people we love. Used to express ideas; Talk about everything as if it were a war; “take a shot at it”; “I don’t want to be shot down”; train us to think about & see. Deborah Tannen Fighting for Our , Sep 21, pm, PDF Document (application/pdf), KB, dy.

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Notify me of new comments via email. In her trademark clear, well-organized style, and generously using examples from her own life, Tannen moves from arena to arena, backing her tannsn with plenty of research.

I feel a stronger example could have been used to emphasize the thought differences between men and women. Interestingly, despite her efforts I found her writing quite aggressive and argumentative itself. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Video Lectures for Classroom Use. She relates the ineffectiveness of the typical spousal arguments to the tactics utilized in headlining public discourse. More on these will be interesting.

The Argument Culture — Deborah Tannen

Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Since community is a blend of connections and authorities, both of which are deteriorating from this adversarial attitude, alienation then forms, and the trend spirals communities into states of detachment and hostility.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: You are commenting using your WordPress. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: In this light, I feel she also offered her weakest example of her said point. To emphasize this point, Tannen refers to a scientific study in which participants viewed a video of two cars colliding.


Our society has become oud adversarial, with consequences not only in our ability to solve problems but also in our personal relationships. This is just one of the many relevant examples Tannen utilized in her writing to illustrate her views. Perhaps this was her underlying objective, though; the beginning of this article read as she was propelling her personal achievements and also defending them against criticism and misrepresentation.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. While the reader is susceptible to criticizing the validity of this very writing through labeling Tannen a social skeptic, she does conclude the work with various alternate methods to this solution. This site uses cookies.

Response to Deborah Tannen’s essay: The Argument Culture

Talking from 9 to 5. She brought to light many instances of the automatic use fihhting adversarial formats which we have grown to accept.

Exploring how other cultures approach opposition, and discussing the influence of electronic communication in ratcheting up the level of aggression, Tannen shows how we can move toward more constructive dialogue in our public as well our private lives. But, like everything in life, moderation must be applied for the tool of debate.

She states that a reporter, upon interviewing her in regard to her new published book, misquoted her. Tannen explains that though this method has its rightful place; it is ineffective and dangerous to employ figgting for every situation.

Thank you Kristine Houston. Tannen goes on to list the repercussions of the previous observations, concerned that this increasing trend of opposition is attributed to the breakdown of our society.

I had hoped Tannen would have emphasized some alternative social methods to the current ones of which she finds so unappealing. The latter group recalled the cars moving at much higher speeds than the first group, illustrating the power and influence words can have on perception. It also encourages people to look for irrelevant rhetorical weaknesses in the opposing argument, rather than listening to the important matters at hand.


Tannen reported her reply as the necessity to distinguish between biological or cultural styles. Unfortunately, her sole offering is to experiment with metaphors other than sports and war, and to utilize expressive feborah others than traditional debate style.

Response to Deborah Tannen’s essay: The Argument Culture | peternicholas

In our culture, nearly every topic is emphasized as a battle or argument in which there are definite winners and losers. I found her writing intriguing and informative perhaps because it was argumentative! You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!

She explains how the exaggerated use of military and battle related metaphors have the power to influence and shape our opinions, thoughts, and perceptions. That’s Not What I Meant!

In this article, Deborah Tannen attempts to open the eyes of the reader to the argumentative culture to which we have all become accustomed to. The war on drugs, the battle of the sexes, politicians’ turf battles—war metaphors pervade our talk and shape our thinking, urging us to approach anything we need to accomplish as a fight between two opposing sides.

Tannen traces this tendency to the history of our educational system, and shows its roots among boys at play.