Object structure

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The passive voice in the narratives of women and men

Subject and Keywords:

passive voice   gender   passivity   genderlect


Research objectives. Opposition passivity/activity in the public discourse and research is often linked with the topic of cultural roles of men and women. In this article it is assumed that this opposition appears also in grammar. The aim of the study was to analyze the syntactic structures and semantic roles in the statements of men and women. Methods. Four women and four men took part in the study. The main research method was a narrative interview with a use of photography (photo elicitation interview). In the analysis several features were taken into account: the frequency of the use of the passive voice, agens and patiens roles that occured in sentences, emotions that appeared with the passive voice and the level of intimacy of the topic of each sentence. Conclusions. Men more often than women constructed sentences in the passive voice. Women often were given the narrative role of patiens, and thus – the passive communication attitude. Men gave themselves, more often than they gave their partners, the role of the agens, and thus – men took an active communication attitude.


Institute of Sociology, University of Wrocław

Detailed Type:





Genderowe filtry. Różnorodność doświadczania i percepcji płci w przestrzeni publicznej i prywatnej. Pod red. Doroty Majki-Rostek, Ewy Banaszak, Pawła Czajkowskiego, Wrocław 2015



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Copyright by Dagmara Kałkus