Kate and the "class conflict" discussion

Subject: Kate and the "class conflict" discussion
From: "Focus on 3 things: Quality, Quality, Quality" <raven -at- USABLE -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1993 10:42:30 EDT

Wow! What a hot button, this "Is it sexison or what" discussion
of the way technical writers are treated in organizations.

Anecdotal evidence from others seems to support what I was
going to say: I think the "class" difference is due more to education
and job role than to gender. I base this assertion on a study I did on
the communication patterns o technical writers and engineers during
draft review meetings (this was part of my dissertation).
(see "Communicatinon patterns of Technical Writers and Electrical
engineers During Meetings" in the Proceedings of the 1990 IEEE
Internaltional Professinoal Communication Conference, New York: IEEE
(1990) 9-13).

The part of the study that was not my dissertation (and that I haven't
written up yet) was that after I analyzed the converstainal patterns, I
compared these patterns to the pattens that Deborah Tannen discussed
in her book "You Just Don't understand" about male-female
communication. In general, I found that during a BUSINESS MEETING
the women did NOT tend to have the same conversational habits that
they have during social interactions (you'll note that most of Tannen's
research was based on social conversstaions, like at dinner or
parties). For example, during the draft review meetings, if a man
interupted, the woman interrupted right back and held her ground.

DISCLAIMER: This study was based on only a few men and women at one
particular company and cannot be generalized to all technicl writers
and engineers.

Now I have a different type of question for all of you: Now that I've
essentially "written up" the findings of my study in this listserv
group, does that mean it's "published" (Although not refereed), and
if I do ever get around to sending it to some speech communication
journal, what if what I just said has become common knowledge by then
cause I said it here and it got sent all over the place?? Would the
editor of the journal be "right" in saying "this study isn't worth
publishing cause everybody already knows the results?"

Mary Beth Raven
Raven -at- usable -dot- dec -dot- com

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