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Correlation between Strategies used in Virtual Self- Presentations and Language Speaker Gender
Objectives: The research focuses on strategies and tactics by using which the Internet users (both men and women) of online dating sites create free-text (without multiple choice option) self-presentations unlike the part of the profiles with multiple choice options. Methods/Statistical Analysis: The authors of the research differentiate the notions “communication strategy” / “speech strategy” and “communication tactics” / “speech tactics” and analyze the data from these perspectives. The data for the study are the virtual self-presentations made up by Russian and English-speaking men and women aged 18 to 60. The fragment of self-presentation in which a definite strategy or tactics is verbalized is used as a unit of analysis. The data are analyzed by the following methods: descriptive, comparative and quantitative. Findings: The key findings of the research are as follows: a typical author of a self-presentation in online dating sites based on their age as well as the number of lexical units used in a free-text self-presentation was defined; the basic communication strategy was formulated; five universal speech strategies: “Self-characterization”, “Addressee’s characterization”, “Purpose of searching”, “Representing an ideal situation”, “Orientation to communication”, which are verbalized in self-presentations of both Russian- and English-speaking men and women in online dating sites were identified. Each speech strategy has a certain set of communication and speech tactics described by the authors of the article. The speech strategies “Selfcharacterization” and “Addressee’s characterization” are the strategies that have more gender differences observed at the speech tactics level. The researchers conclude that there are no fundamental gender differences in choosing men’s or women’s specific speech strategies and communication tactics for both Russian- and English-speaking users. The gender differences reveal in the choice of speech tactics. Application/ Improvement: The present study develops the theory of strategic and tactical planning of speech through the analysis of its gender markedness. The authors define the set of universal and gender marked strategies and tactics used by male and female profilers of informal online self-presentations.
Gender, Online Dating Sites, Self-Presentation, Strategy, Tactics.
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