gossip and gender

1237 Words5 Pages
According to Jane Pilkington, “The basic function of gossip can be seen as signifying group membership.” This theory is one that is up for much debate. When first reading that statement, it seemed kind of insignificant to me. But when you stop and think about how common gossip is in our everyday lives, the understanding of its function seems much more essential. Gossiping topics are of great variety, but do men gossip about the same things as women? What exactly is the purpose of gossiping in mixed gendered groups? And to challenge Jane Pilkington’s claim, can we really determine group membership of gossipers? These are just a few questions that I have considered and will attempt to answer. In her work, "'Don't Try to Make Out that I am Nice!' The Different Strategies Women and Men Use When Gossiping," Jane Pilkington explores the strategies of gossip amongst both men and women and comes up with the claim that the goal of gossip for both sexes is to maintain solidarity and membership. Her observations also include recognizing the strategies of gossipers in each sex. Her observations led her to believe that females use much more cooperative strategies, while men tended to use uncooperative strategies. Along with maintaining solidarity and membership, Pilkington noticed other functions of gossip as well. These include maintaining good social relationships, entertainment, maintaining traditions, maintaining morals and unity as well as to determine the outsiders from the insiders. The variety of groups she observed make her research much more credible since she didn’t use just one specific group. Jane’s research is very helpful in answering the questions I have pre viously posed. Her work has provided evidence for my own claim and has provided some back up to my own observations. Another source that is essential
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