InterpersonalCommTheory - Theories of Interpersonal...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Theories of Interpersonal Communication Theories Interpersonal Communication Overview *Interpersonal Communication: Interpersonal *messages between two, interdependent persons, with a focus on how messages initiate, define, maintain, or further a relationship initiate, *Theories *Politeness Theory *Social Exchange Theory *Dialectical Perspective *Communication Privacy Management Theory *Pragmatics Politeness Theory (even referred to face-work) *Explains how we manage our own and others’ identities through interaction, in particular, through the use of politeness strategies through *Assumptions: Assumptions: *all individuals are concerned with maintaining face all *We have choices and make communicative decisions to maintain face *“Everyone’s face depends on everyone else’s [face] being maintained” (Brown “Everyone’s (Brown & Levinson, 1987, p.61). (even though we care about our face, also Levinson, concerned with others: a lot of managing of face and impressions) concerned Politeness Theory *Face: desired self-image that you wish to present to others; includes awareness that interactional partners have face needs interactional Positive face (referring to our need to be liked—we need people to like and see us in ways that show approval and Negative face (referring to a different need—need for independence. We want to be seen as someone who can also act independently— We doesn’t sound social but does refer to need of independence. “act freely”) It is difficult to achieve positive and negative face simultaneously *Preserving Face *Preventive facework (avert problems where our face may be threatened. May do that through messages; qualifications: “Well this may not apply to you but…”, through disclaimers: “I don’t know if this is true but…”. Preventing losing face. disclaimers: *Corrective facework (after the fact to help restore our own or someone else’s face. Ex. Apologies, justifying Apologies, Politeness Theory *Some behaviors are fundamentally face threatening (inevitably we will hurt someone’s face): Face-threatening acts (FTAs) they either make us feel like we are not approved or they Face-threatening take away our autonomy and independence take *Strategies for committing a FTA (not usually intent yet people need to maintain their own goals and face which may interfere with other’s face) and *Avoidance (don’t communicate therefore avoid face threatening act) *Go off record (give subtle hints about something. Indirect indications that get at what you are going/want to do ex. Hinting want someone to cover shift what *Negative politeness (doing things that you apologize for threatening the person’s negative face. Ex. “I know you value your time but I really need someone to negative cover my shift) ---still show care but still asking what you want cover *Positive politeness (butter people up, meet their needs to be polite “You are a great guy to work for”) difference is as get more direct, whether concerned for great + or - face or *Bald on record (not worried on being polite “you need to take my shift”. Very impolite and just go after what we want) impolite *Three factors influence strategy choice: *Prestige, Power, and Risk In general if someone has prestige or power over you, we tend to be more polite so we use strategies with greater politeness. If the person does not have power, found we people use less polite strategies. If there is high risk, ex. Someone losing job, we tend to go for more polite. Low risk where not as important, we don’t worry about being very polite. Social Exchange Theory Social *Explains when and why individuals continue and develop some personal relationships while ending others (how satisfied or dissatisfied in our relationships) ending *Assumptions *Relationships are a function of comparing benefits gained versus costs to attain benefits Relationships *People want to make the most of the benefits, while lessening the costs (minimax principle àminimize cost and max gain/benefit. Assumes people are rational and efficiency motivated) efficiency *By nature, humans are selfish; you tend to look out for yourself first and foremost. Social Exchange Theory *Core Components *Outcome (O): ratio of rewards to costs in a given relationship Rewards: Costs = Outcome When positive ratio, good outcome. When costs outweigh rewards, negative outcome *Comparison level (CL): what rewards do I expect to receive in this relationship? *Comparison level of alternatives (CLalt): what other options do I have? (how much do you value those options. Expectations of current relationships and then alternatives you could have instead) could Social Exchange Theory *Predictions (CL: what you expect) (CLalt: compare to alternatives) *Outcomes > CL = satisfied *Outcomes < CL = dissatisfied *Outcome > CLalt = stay *Outcome < CLalt = terminate Relational Dialectics *Proposes that relationships are comprised of inherent contradictions *Both poles of contradiction can exist together *4 central concepts: *Contradiction: The coexistence and conflict of interconnected opposites The *Totality: The idea that contradictions in a relationship are part of a unified whole The and cannot be understood in isolation (can’t isolate certain parts of a and relationship to understand, look at whole—understand complete context) relationship *Process: The idea that movement, activity, and change are fundamental The properties of social life (dynamic, changing) properties *Praxis: The choices social actors make in the midst of dialectical tensions The Relational Dialectics *Internal dialectics: tensions between partners *Autonomy—Connection (ex. want to be yourself yet be in a relationship) Autonomy—Connection *Openness—Closedness (some things may be closed about such as in past, or very open) *Predictability—Novelty (don’t want surprises but also not too predictable) *External dialectics: tensions a dyad experiences when interacting with others *Inclusion—Seclusion (want to be included in what others do yet want to do things alone as a couple) as *Revelation—Concealment (some things reveal to others, some things don’t) *Conventionality—Uniqueness (don’t want friends to think weird as couple so conventional but don’t want to be like everyone else) conventional Relational Dialectics *To sustain a relationship, dialectical tensions must be managed To *Four primary strategies Four *Selection strategy Selection *Cyclic alteration (different points in our lives, then too open. So open then less open , open…go back and forth) less *Segmentation (segment how we respond based on things such as topic of conversation. certain topics, be at one poll or the other) certain *Integration (see as opportunities of opening the relationship) Communication Privacy Management Theory (CPM) *Public—Private dialectical tension is central Public—Private dialectical *Private information: information that is inaccessible to others *CPM explains why and how people make decisions about whether to reveal or conceal private information based on specific rules information *See book for other details Pragmatics of Human Communication *Key points of relational systems theory in the form of five key axioms *1. “One Cannot not Communicate.” *2. Communication has both relational and content functions in interaction(tell 2. relational content TA to get the lights, relationally they are there to help he overpowers. Content TA what actually said) what *3. In relational systems, we often punctuate interaction in different ways 3. punctuate *4. Humans communicate through both digital and analogic code systems 4. digital analogic *5. Communication interactions can be either symmetrical or complementary 5. symmetrical complementary Pragmatics (continued) Pragmatics *As a result of these complexities of interaction, relational communication can become dysfunctional dysfunctional *Paradoxes and double binds (ex. Put sun tan lotion on “close your eyes and look at me” at *Relational system change must often be second-order change (from outside) ex. Get this from Relational second-order counseling, friend, family. When caught in relationship may not even realize how counseling, dysfunctional things are so need outside help dysfunctional *First-order change likely insufficient ...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 03/22/2012 for the course COMM 200 taught by Professor Theiss during the Spring '07 term at Rutgers.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online