Communication research has long considered how power is revealed and reinforced through language. Understanding the connection between power and language helps communicators understand how power differences in various contexts are built and maintained. For instance, research has revealed differences in men and women’s communication, as well as masculine and feminine styles of communicating—men more assertively, women more indirectly. These sex- and gender-based differences are one line of research, but power in language can be applied in other contexts to understand communication differences related to race, class, and socioeconomic status. In general, then, understanding the power-language connection is important for understanding how communication impacts relationships at home, work, and generally in society.

This entry discusses the power-language connection and considers how language creates, orders, and reinforces ...

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