A comparative analysis of male and female e-mail discourse with a special focus on verbosity and power ? by Johanna SpitzerSo far, research in the field of gender and communication has been mainly concerned with either oral or written texts. The present thesis, however, deals with the question whether the outcomes derived from the investigation in this field can also be applied to a rather new form of text, the e-mail. In order to investigate this question, a survey has been conducted among 51 university students in England. The subjects were provided with a fixed context and were then asked to write a total of three e-mails to three different people, a professor at university or a superior, one female and one male friend. Owing to the fact that the message each participant had to convey was the same for every text, it was possible to observe in how far the sex of the writer and the sex or the superior position of the addressee altered their style and wording. The theoretical part of the thesis provides a presentation and discussion of the theories that have been proposed in the past years. It is followed by a chapter on language and the Internet which renders an account of the Internet as a medium of communication and, in addition, tries to provide an answer to the question whether e-mail is based on an oral or written tradition. The primary part of the thesis is the empirical study, in which the findings of the survey are being presented. As a basis for the analysis, various hypotheses which follow the theoretical part of this thesis, were formulated and examined with respect to the particular data derived from the survey. At times, the outcomes of the study corresponded to what theory proposes but in some respects the results were quite surprising. One of the probably most interesting findings was that, contrary to the widespread belief, it is not the women who are the more talkative sex, at least as far as the context of the study is concerned.