"Interaction: The Work Women Do" by Pamela Fishman (1978)

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Interaction: The Work Women Do

Pamela M. Fishman
Social Problems
Vol. 25, No. 4 (Apr., 1978), pp. 397-406
Published by:University of California Press
Article Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/800492
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Page [397] of Social Problems, Vol. 25, No. 4, Apr., 1978
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Social Problems © 1978 University of California Press
The paper examines male-female hierarchy in everyday interaction. Beginning with a discussion of the concepts of power and of conversation as negotiated activity, it suggests that successful interaction depends on work by the participants. Using tapes of daily conversations between three male-female couples as data, I present some observations on the ways conversation is controlled as well as the results of transcript analysis. The analysis describes the concrete strategies used by men and women in interaction. Women do more conversational work than men; this is the interactional manifestation of power relations. Finally, some suggestions are made on the importance of studying interactions in the areas of availability and maintenance of one's gender identity.

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