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You Just Don't Understand

Deborah Tannen

1 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Psychology

Her international bestseller, the book that shows us at last, why we find it so difficult to talk to the opposite sex. Reissued to coincide with her new book The Argument Culture.

Why do so many women feel that men don't tell them anything, but just lecture and criticise? Why do so many men feel that women nag them and never get to the point? In this pioneering book Deborah Tannen shows us how women and men talk in different ways, for profoundly different reasons. While women use language to make connections and reinforce intimacy, men use it to preserve their status and independence.
Some have claimed that conversations are the forum of male power games, but the author suggests that jockeying for attention is not the whole story and that even when domination is the result, it is not always the intention. She shows how many frictions may arise because girls and boys grow up in essentially different cultures. Where women use language to seek confirmation, make connections and reinforce intimacies, men use it to protect their independence and negotiate status. The result is that conversation becomes a cross-cultural communication, fraught with genuine confusion.

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Praise for You Just Don't Understand

  • Tannen combines a novelist's ear for the way people speak with a rare power of original analysis ... fascinating - OLIVER SACKS

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Deborah Tannen

Deborah Tannen is the acclaimed author of You Just Don't Understand, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly four years including eight months as number 1; You're Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation; I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner and That's Not What I Meant! A professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, she has written for and been featured in newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Time and Newsweek. She lives with her husband in the Washington, DC area.