AbstractsPolitical Science

Communication Accommodation and Female Political Leaders: The Case of Elizabeth Warren

by Sarah P. Chill

Institution: Youngstown State University
Department: Department of Communicaton
Degree: MAin Interdisciplinary Communication
Year: 2014
Keywords: Communication; Gender Studies; Political Science; communication accommodation; communication styles; double binds; Elizabeth Warren
Record ID: 2025370
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ysu1420802379


Masculine and feminine styles of communication are different. A masculine style includes aggressive language, direct questions, and task-oriented conversation. A feminine style includes emphasizing relationship, using collective pronouns, and using narratives to emphasize points. Males and females generally fall into their respective styles. In the political sphere, this poses a problem. Female political leaders are an enigma. They are usually judged in terms of double binds. For example, to be seen as feminine a female leader cannot be seen as competent and vise versa. Also, since the political sphere tends to take on a masculine style of communication, female leaders struggle to find a balance between being masculine and being too masculine. In this study, Elizabeth Warren’s public speech is analyzed. Findings show that she is able to toggle between the masculine and feminine styles effectively and that there is evidence of communication convergence.