Women in Politics: Confident not Coy

Ahmed Elauri

I have a dream (…) that one day (….) my children (…) will grow up to read Cat in the Hat.  Now that probably sounded a lot more dramatic than it actually was. People, especially American politicians, love to take pauses while speaking. Martin Luther King Jr. did it, Barrack Obama did it, Nancy Pelosi does it. Pauses are often used because their versatile roles, especially in politics. Pauses can be used to provide emphasis, invoke emotion, or just to catch someone’s breath. Due to the flexibility of pauses, this research investigated how men and women within politics use silence within their speech differently. While women were expected to take more pauses to sound less aggressive and to prevent standing out, the data suggests men may take more pauses during their speech.  This research compared the speech of Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence to see who spoke more fluidly during the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate. Harris used fewer pauses, indicating women in politics may be more confident and fluid speakers than their male counterparts.

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Love at First Site? The Impact of Medium and Sex on Flirting Behavior

Christian Bury, Maddy, Valerie Beketava, Marissa Schulner, Luming Zhou

Smiling at the cute cashier, batting your eyes at your work-crush, or even strutting up to greet an attractive stranger at the bar, whether Dr. Love himself, or merely an average joe looking to land a date, we’re all aware of the tried-and-true signs of flirting. It’s with this familiarity in mind, that the recent emergence of social media and popular dating apps have revolutionized these age-old flirting techniques, reimagining themselves in the form of risqué DM’s and overly animated texts featuring the all too infamous winky face emoji. Biological sex has long stood as the primary element of influence within flirting behavior, but with the prevalence of today’s digital technology, the actual medium of such communication has been introduced as yet another important factor regarding one’s approach to flirting. Despite this being the case, a few features of flirting remain ubiquitous across both face-to-face and virtual mediums regardless of biological sex: the use of compliments and exaggerated reactions. With this in mind, the following article lays-out and reflects on the aforementioned features of flirting, shedding light on how differences among sex and medium impact flirting behavior, perception, and tendencies.

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“Do You Even Lift, Bruh… or Sis?” 💪: A Look into the Online Gendered Communication of Fitness Influencers on YouTube”

Hyung Joon (Joe) Kim, Jenny Elliott, Madeleine Song, Sophia King, Alison Tcheguini

With the rise of social media influencers, online public figures have become more attentive to how they communicate with their followers. In our research study, we assess the features of online gendered communication in comparison to the in-person gendered communication theories.

To do this, we chose YouTube fitness influencers as our main scope of study because “fitness” is a relatively gender-neutral category. By analyzing the influencers’ online comments, we discovered notable differences between male and female influencers’ responses to their fans. We found that women use certain linguistic features more frequently and that they used them in greater varieties. We believed this to be an indication of an emotional and expressive way of communicating. On the other hand, men generally used these linguistic tools less frequently and in less variety.

Overall, both males and females used supportive and rapport language. This is indicative of the fact that both seek to establish solidarity with their respective fan base. However, we found that men and women use these linguistic features to different extents, and differing the types of linguistic tools they use. In this regard, we observed a dichotomy of “calm vs emotional” which is a modern adaptation of the well-established “report vs rapport” model.

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“Of course, right” and “I was just asking to ask”: Women’s Relationship With Cooperative Language and Their Perception

Zoe Curran, Emmeline Hutchinson, Rylee Mangan, Kamiron Werking-Volk

Why do we like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde? Why do we dislike Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada? Of course, part of it is because that is who the movie tells us to like and dislike, but is another aspect of that how they use language?

Based on existing knowledge that men and women use communication differently, taking divergent paths to accomplish tasks, we sought to determine how these variations distinctly affect men and women. We focused specifically on the effects on women and how their language use changes their perception. Are they the heroine or the villain? Are they the sweetheart or the b*tch? Our study examined the representation of women in the media and explored the implications of cooperative conversational styles on a woman’s perceived image.

We predicted that the way women in movies use language to facilitate, or inhibit, conversation contributes to their perception in aspects that do not affect men. Based on scenic analysis and tracking of key features, we found a correlation between the characters’ use of cooperative linguistic features and their representation in the film that may be integrated into everyday life.

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Laugh Now… Because It Won’t Be Funny Later

Angelena Escobar, Debora Gotta, Lilly Khatirnia, Talia Kazandjian

Comedy and laughter are often viewed as universal languages. It is said that comedians have the capacity to produce discourse about the darkest and most challenging aspects of life, all the while making us laugh. This meant nothing was really off the table for comedians in the 90’s and early 00’s. However, in the last five years especially, with the massive rise of social media and cancel culture, we have seen both celebrities and private citizens being reprimanded or heavily criticized for their current or past actions. Comedians, especially, who were appreciated for their dark and uncensored humor, are now having to rethink their entire routine. Keeping that in mind, is comedy still regarded as it once was or have societal values changed enough to transform the stand up comedy landscape?

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