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paper1.maintext - Contextual Levels Contextual Levels of...

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Contextual Levels 1 Contextual Levels of Communication: A look into the world of The Office The television show that was selected for my class was NBC’s season four of The Office episode 405 “Local Ad.” In the opening scene of this episode Michael, the manager is speaking to the entire office staff about how Dunder Mifflin, the paper company The Office is based around, is going to make an advertisement. He is asking for ideas from the entire office. Phyllis jumps in with an idea about dancing babies and Andy starts singing the Kit Kat bar theme song. However, Andy cannot remember what the end of “break me off a piece of that” song is. Jim tries to help Andy figure out what the brand is while not actually telling him the answer. I will be exploring this scene and its use of contextual levels of communication such as interpersonal and public communication. I will also be examining the verbal and nonverbal issues that are present throughout the scene. The first thing that we see in the scene is Michael presenting the employees with the advertisement that will be airing. He wants it to be imaginative, so he asks his employees for ideas. Michael is speaking to the entire staff which is an example of public communication. According to Professor Mullin public communication consists of “one or a few individuals speaking to an audience” (2008, January 10). Michael is speaking to a group of people and they are “face to face but with a distance” (Mullin, 2008, January 10). In public communication participation and feedback are extremely important. When Phyllis raises her hand and gives her ideas she is expressing one of the key components to the contextual level of public communication, participation.
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Contextual Levels 2 In the part of the scene where Phyllis raises her hand and Michael calls on her, this is a perfect example of nonverbal communication. According to Tubbs and Moss (2006) “nonverbal messages replace, reinforce or contradict a verbal message” (p. 111). Raising ones hand is an example of replacing a verbal message. Instead of saying “I have a comment,” a person can just raise their hand to indicate that they have something to add to the conversation. In this case, Phyllis has an idea for the commercial Michael is trying to put together. Michael points to her and says her name, this is another nonverbal communication, and Michael is indicating to Phyllis that she may tell everyone her idea.
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