classnotes1 - 8/30/07 HOW WE TALK ABOUT TALK Metadiscourse...

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8/30/07 HOW WE TALK ABOUT TALK Metadiscourse - Discourse: practical use of language - Metadiscourse: discourse about discourse o Reflexive talk about communication – a common feature of everyday interaction Examples of metadiscourse - “Don’t tease your brother!” o Has a practical function - “I totally understand what you’re saying .” o Making a claim o Trying to show sympathy for the person; making the claim/assumption you understand someone - “We need to get together more often.” o More general comment about the relationship o Trying to manage a relationship through a reflexive comment - “It is so weird to see two people walking together having separate conversations on their cell phones o Formation of attitudes or beliefs; commentary on the way we communicate today - “Communication systems are open to change over time” o Part of the conversation and discourse o Labeling communication and trying to shape the way we understand communication Metadiscourse in society - As Deborah Cameron (2000) has noted, there is a lot of metadiscourse (talk about communication) in modern societies - In talking about problems, we often assume that problems are caused by poor communication and can be solved by better communication – i.e. “it’s “good to talk” - That is, we often frame problems as communication problems Problem framing - To frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation.” (Entman, 1993, p.52) Communication as problematic - In society’s metadiscourse, communication problems are often emphasized, as in these new headlines (Craig, 2005): o “Shrill rhetoric undermines discourse” o “Healthy messages not getting through” o “9/11 Panel to focus on communication” o “Male ‘code of conduct’ isolates men”
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o “Cell phone invaders” EX: talk and drugs - Example of communication problem framing: “Talk” is often recommended in drug company ad anti drug ads (“Talk to your doctor”…”Talk to your kids”). (Craig, 2005) Framing is always from a point of view - Different “sides” on an issue frame it differently (they “talk past” each other) - Highlighting and emphasizing different things - Examples: o Abortion (life vs. choice) o Iraq war (failure vs. progress) o Interpersonal argument (you started it vs. no you started it) Communication competes with other problem frames - In many social controversies, a communication point of view competes with some other way of framing problems Competing problem frames - Craig identifies several competing frames: o Biotechnology EX: drugs vs. talk therapy? o
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This note was uploaded on 03/17/2009 for the course COMM 3210 taught by Professor Craig during the Fall '08 term at Colorado.

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classnotes1 - 8/30/07 HOW WE TALK ABOUT TALK Metadiscourse...

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