Female Politicians’ Gendered Communicative Structures

A Multimodal Combination of Masculine Verbal and Feminine Nonverbal Patterns

in Israel Studies Review
Author:
Tsfira Grebelsky-LichtmanAssociate Professor, Department of Communication and The Swiss Center for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Tsfira.Grebelsky@mail.huji.ac.il

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Keren MabarM.A. Degree, Communications specializing in Political Communication, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel keren.mabar@mail.huji.ac.il

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Abstract

Recently there has been growing number of women running for national political positions. This study presents multimodal gender communicative-structures of female politicians. We analyzed 80 political interviews by all female politicians who ran for the 20th Knesset in Israel (n = 40). The findings revealed novel integrated structures that combine masculine-verbal and feminine-nonverbal communicative-patterns. Unexpectedly, the adaptation of the mixed multimodal communicative-structure was strongly correlated with power, particularly in terms of seniority. In contemporary political communication, the inclusion of feminine-nonverbal communicative-patterns is a manifestation of political strength rather than of weakness. However, female politicians from cultural minorities express masculine-verbal and nonverbal communication-patterns, constituting the traditional communication-pattern of female politicians, which assumes that the key to female politicians’ success is adopting masculine communicative-structure.

Contributor Notes

TSFIRA GREBELSKY-LICHTMAN is an associate professor in the Department of Communication and The Swiss Center for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in the Department of Business Administration at the Ono Academic College. Grebelsky-Lichtman's area of research is in verbal and nonverbal interrelationships in interpersonal communication. Her works have won Top Paper Awards from the Feminist Scholarship and the Interpersonal Communication Divisions at the International Communication Association. E-mail: Tsfira.Grebelsky@mail.huji.ac.il

KEREN MABAR holds a B.A. degree in Romance and Latin American Studies and Communications in the Department of Communications at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an M.A. degree in Communications specializing in Political Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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