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Paper Topic:

Compare and Contrast men and women.

A Friday night at the local sports bar spent watching groups of men and women together underscores some very substantial and important similarities and differences that mark the sexes as different Surrounded by television screens that fill the space with sounds and scenes of a variety of sporting events , these distinct groups react very differently to each other . It is a difference that speaks volumes about the way men and women communicate , and the sense of social cohesion that each group believes to define collegiality and group dynamics

The most noticeable difference

in the situation outlined earlier is the degree to which men and women attend to those in the group when an outside source of information or entertainment - in this case , a series of television screens - is in proximity to the conversation . For the men in the bar , the focal point quickly becomes the action on the screens Chairs and stools are turned , often so the men are actually sitting with their backs to each other , making either a single set or bank of television sets the focal point of the group . What might be called the axis of information flows from the technology to the individual viewer who , regardless of his membership in the viewing community , is positioned as a solitary recipient of the images and sounds being transmitted . Put another way , the television breaks down the potentially strengthening bonds of communication in favor of an isolating dynamic that marks each viewer as separate from the rest and each act of communication as unique from all others

Women , in contrast , remain physically aligned in relationship to the centering gravity of the table , which remains steadfast as the focal point of the gathering . Stools and chairs are turned inwards , promoting a more intimate and open face-to-face exchange as well as more of the direct eye contact that facilitates a continuation of conversations once they are initiated . Whereas each of the men holds his drink in his hand as he turns away from the table toward the television , rendering himself more or less self-sufficient , women place their drinks on coasters on the table , again iterating the value of the communal gathering place - metaphorically , the drink glasses and bottles represent in microcosm the dynamics of the table - and at the same time allowing for a tangible and recursive reconnection with this common zone of contact . The act of drinking , then , becomes a physical and symbolic reinforcement of the importance of community and communication to the women in the group with each reaching inward for a glass , individual members of the group lean towards the center of the table , marking it as shared and as of importance to them individually and collectively

If how the groups arrange themselves is significant , so , too , are the contours and dynamics of the conversations as they unfold during the course of the evening . For the men , again , the events on the screens in front of them seem to dictate the terms and conditions of the discussions...

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