Communiations

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attached are 2 pages of info. 

Read them both and write 500 words answering these questions. 

 

  • Give an example of how you have used the communication accommodation theory in an intercultural interaction.
  • Did you use convergence, maintenance, or divergence? Why?
  • Would you change anything about the interaction considering your knowledge of this theory? 

Chapter 7 Verbal communication: How can I reduce cultural misunderstandings in my verbal communication? 153

might make no changes in his behavior (maintenance) or even highlight his own style
to mark it as different from that of the other group (divergence). Jin can change his
behavior in terms of nonverbal behavior (distance, posture, touch, etc.), paralinguistic
behavior (tone of voice, rate of speech, volume, etc.), and verbal behavior (word choice,
complexity of grammar, topic of conversation, turn-taking, etc.). Many things influence
shifts in his speech, such as the status and power of the other communicator, the situa-
tion, who is present, communication goals (for example, to seem friendly, or to show
status or threat), the strength of his own language in the community, and his communi-
cation abilities.

Communication and sites of dominance
Convergence can often go wrong. Giles and Noels (2002) explain that, although con-
verging is usually well received, we can overaccommodate, or converge too much or
in ineffective ways, by adjusting in ways we might think are appropriate, but are based
on stereotypes of the other. People often speak louder and more slowly to a foreigner,
thinking that they will thus be more understandable. Overaccommodation also works
in situations of dominance. For example, younger people often inappropriately adjust
their communication when talking with elderly people. Often called secondary baby
talk, this includes a higher pitch in voice, simpler vocabulary, and use of plural
first-person (“we”—“Would we like to put our coat on? It’s very cold outside”). While
some older people find this type of communication comforting, especially from health
workers, some feel it speaks down to them and treats them as no longer competent.
A  similar feeling might be experienced by Blacks in the United States when Whites
use  hyperexplanation. This inappropriate form of adjustment also includes use of
simpler grammar, repetition, and clearer enunciation. But Harry Waters (1992) sug-
gests that it is a behavior some Whites engage in while talking with Blacks (or other
minority members)—perhaps based on real communication differences or perhaps
based on stereotypes, but certainly leaving hurt feelings or resentment on the part of
the Black listeners.

Writers have outlined the ways in which word choice, turn-taking and length, or topic
selection may also serve to exclude others, often without us even being aware of it
(Fairclough, 2001; Tannen, 1994). Don Zimmerman and Candace West (1975) found that
while women “overlapped” speech turns in talking to men, often with “continuers” (“mm
hmm,” “yes”) that continued the turn of the male, men were more often likely to interrupt
women, often taking the turn away from them. And when women did interrupt men, the
men did not yield the turn to women, while women did yield the turn to men. Jennifer
Coates (2003), observing storytelling, found that men and boys often framed themselves
as heroes, as being rebels or rule-breakers. In analysis of family communication, she
found that there is “systematic” work done by all family members in many families to
frame the father as either the primary story teller or the one to whom children tell their
stories. Coates concludes, “Family talk can be seen to construct and maintain political
order within families. . . . to conform roles and power structures within families” (p. 158),
giving men more power in most mixed-gender storytelling over women. We can see that
each aspect of verbal communication could be used in ways to impose power over others,
often based on group identity, cultural difference, maintenance of group power, or, simply
put, prejudice.

Baldwin, J. R., Coleman, R. R. M., González, A., Shenoy-Packer, S., & González, A. (2014). Intercultural communication for everyday life. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
Created from apus on 2022-03-30 00:24:39.

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Part three Messages152

Communication accommodation theory
Often people with different speaking styles communicate with each other, even from within
the same nation. Basil Bernstein (1966) stated that the social situation, including commu-
nicative context (for example, a job interview versus a party) and social relationships (for
example, peers versus status unequals), dictates the forms of speaking used in a particular
situation. Bernstein suggested that in all cultures, there are different types of codes. A
restricted code is a code used by people who know each other well, such as jargon or
argot. Jargon refers to a vocabulary used by people within a specific profession or area
(such as rugby players or mine workers), while argot refers to language used by those in a
particular underclass, often to differentiate themselves from a dominant culture (e.g., pros-
titutes, prisoners). However, as people get to know each other better, even good friends can
develop this sort of linguistic shorthand, speaking in terms or references that others do not
understand. In an elaborated code, people spell out the details of meaning in the words in
a way that those outside of the group can understand them. This switching back and forth
between codes is called code-switching. Effective communicators should be able to speak
in restricted codes appropriate to their context, but also know how to switch to elaborated
code (for example, to include outsiders)—to change their vocabulary, level of formality, and
so on, to match the audience and social occasion.

Based on the notions of different codes within a community, as well as code-switching
and other theoretical ideas, Howard Giles and his colleagues introduced communication
accommodation theory (Giles & Noels, 2002; Gallois et al., 2005). This theory predicts
how people adjust their communication in certain situations, the factors that lead to such
changes, and the outcomes of different types of changes.

In the U.S. television series, Lost, through a series of flashbacks and present commu-
nication, we observe the speech of Jin Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim), a Korean man, the son
of a fisherman, but hired by a wealthy restaurant owner. In some cases, his communica-
tion is respectful, indirect, deferential; in others, it is direct, friendly or aggressive, and
nonverbally more expressive. In some cases, he might change his behavior to be more
like that of the person with whom he is speaking (convergence), and in others, he

Break it down

Tell about a time that you moved back and forth between an elaborated and a restricted code.

This might have happened at a workplace, if your work has a specific jargon, or even as you

move between slang your friends use and the talk you use with parents or teachers. What are

some ways that “code-switching” can be effective or ineffective in communication? How can we

use an awareness of others around us (such as international students) to use code-switching

appropriately to make their communication adjustment easier and to make them feel more

accepted?

Baldwin, J. R., Coleman, R. R. M., González, A., Shenoy-Packer, S., & González, A. (2014). Intercultural communication for everyday life. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
Created from apus on 2022-03-30 00:24:13.

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