Dominance and Affiliation: Paradigms in Conflict

Maryann Ayim


Gender patterns in speech styles provide us with models of both the dominant confrontational
style (male) and the affiliative nurturant style (female). In this paper, I argue that dominant confrontational styles are seriously problematic, in
speech as well as in behaviour generally, whereas affiliative nurturant styles offer us a model which can be generalized without contradiction. I distinguish confrontation from competition and address briefly how our classrooms might be used to teach affiliative nurturant styles of talking and living.


dominance, competition, affiliativeness, gender patterns in conversations

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ISSN: 0824-2577