sitcom media analysis

For this assignment, you will select a modern sitcom or TV show that has both a male and a female as prominent characters. This means you will be examining the speech patterns of two individuals. Select 3 specific features of ‘women’s speech’ from Lakoff’s article that you would like to examine. (Lakoff:

Then watch at least two episodes of your selected sitcom. You will count instances of usage of these features by both the male and female characters. Then, chart or graph results of all instances of women’s speech used. You should try to find a way to record at least the audio of the shows you choose to study – or find a reliable online source for the show that you can freely revisit and replay, so you can go back and check for examples that go by too fast or need to be revisited for any given reason.

Remember, this is scientific research, so put on your scientist hat.

Grading Rubric

Introduction 20%
Include a brief discussion of women’s language vs. power language

Explanation for your choice of the film/sitcom and characters selected 20%
Give the motivations for your selection of the sitcom and each character (one male, one female). Be sure to include some background information about each character (e.g. age, status, jobs, etc…)

Number of features examined 10%
Please be sure to select 3 language features from Lakoff’s article, e.g., fillers, tag questions, etc.

Results 20%
Show the number of instances of selected features for each character ; plot this information on a graph or chart for each character, as well as one chart for a comparison of the two (3 graphs, charts total).

Analysis 20%
This is where you explain the significance of your results, answer the questions:

-How do you interpret your results?

-What do they show you within the context of how media influences society.

-Did both characters use features of women’s speech?

-Did your result support O’Barr & Atkins beliefs about women’s language as actually a language of powerlessness? (

Think about these things in the context of the background information you wrote about each character.

Conclusion 10%

Explain any conclusions you can draw about this show and about society as a whole.

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