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Gender Roles in Film; Ocena's Eleven

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                                        Men' s talk


                                        Ocean's Eleven

University Duisburg-Essen

Hauptseminar: Gender roles in film

Semester: So.Se. 2014

        Dozentin: Patricia Sift        

       Verfasser: Philipp Tagoe           

Table of contents:

Introduction:                                                                                 p.1

1. The Conversational Floor:                                                                 p.2

2. Men Friends Talking:                                                                  p.3

3. Nominating The Next Speaker:                                                     p.4

4. Self-Selection:                                                                                  p.6

5. Minimal Response:                                                                          p.7

6. Overlap as a form of agreement:                                                         p.8

7. Monologues and Playing the Expert:                                                 p.9

8. Ownership of ideas:                                                                         p.11

Conclusion:                                                                                 p.12

Sources:                                                                                         p.13


Among linguists, the analytic research of women' s talk is a common field. But what is about men' s talk? There is not much research on men' s talk, especially not on the way men talk informally. The reason is because male talk is mostly considered to be the norm, while women' s talk is often seen as a deviant form. Linguists have done much research on cross-sex talk, but not on the informal talk among male groups. The only fields of research that solely include male talk are male talk on the street, on the playground, in the rugby changing room and male talk of Black males in Harlem and Philadelphia.[1]

Surely the research lacks authentic conversations only among male speakers, especially among friends.

In this term paper, I want to analyze the movie “Ocean' s Eleven” by Steven Soderbergh of the year 2001[2], focusing on how male speakers talk when they are only among men. Apart from that Ocean's eleven has many chauvinistic features, which makes it even more interesting to analyze certain speech patterns.

As there is not much research to compare with, I focus on Jennifer Coates' s text “One-at-a-Time: The Organization of Men' s Talk”, in which Coates gives examples for typical men' s talk. The goal of my research paper is to find out, if Coates study can be applied to a typical male movie, even if the conversations are not real, but taken from a movie which tries to display typical male speaking patterns.

1.The Conversational Floor

The conversational floor is the potential basis of conversation which defines who takes part in a conversation.

According to Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson the conversational floor among men follows the rules of „turn- taking“ and „one at a time“. They state that men do normally talk in turns and without any overlap.[3]

Let's have a look if these rules apply to any conversation of the movie Ocean's Eleven.

Example 1: Ocean's Eleven 00:28:32 – 00:29:00 min

[The members of Danny's coup are waiting for Danny in the garden of a mansion...until Danny comes in...]



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