Discursive Strategies in Negotiating Power: The Case of a Female Radio Show Host
Language as a major contestation site for power can manifest linguistic behavior between sexes to negotiate their power. Framed within the poststructuralist framework, this study explored a female radio host’s discursive strategies to negotiate power in the context of Philippine media. Dominant discourse strategies identified include topic control, utterance length, minimal response, and overlapping. Topic control was utilized to dominate the flow of discourse while utterance length was used to minimize turns thereby allowing the female host to establish dominance during the live conversations. Although considered a weak discourse strategy, minimal responses were used not solely for the purpose of solidarity but to introduce the female radio show host’s ideas. Overlapping was another strategy identified to control and negotiate power. On an interesting note, prosodic elements were found to be likewise used to negotiate power. The study sheds light on previously claimed weak discourse strategies identified with women. Weak language in this study as well as discourse strategies associated with men has been found to be used by women as means to an end—as a strategy to negotiate positions of dominance within power relations involving the opposite sex.
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