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Communication and the Multicultural Society. Joshua M. Phelps PSY2500. Outline. 2 Lectures English Language Lecture 1 Intro to Communication Demonstration of Communication Situation Discussion of Communication Situation Blakar’s Communication Theory Lecture 2

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Communication and the Multicultural Society

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  • 2 Lectures
    • English Language
  • Lecture 1
    • Intro to Communication
    • Demonstration of Communication Situation
    • Discussion of Communication Situation
    • Blakar’s Communication Theory
  • Lecture 2
    • Multiculture & Communication
    • Class Exercise: Public Communication
what is communication
What is Communication?
  • Everyday Understandings
  • Common and universal activity for all human beings
  • Basic precondition for all social activity
  • Individual is embedded in different communication situations and participates in communicative acts
  • Complex interaction
  • ’Restricted’ to Psychology and Language
defining communication
Defining Communication
  • All inclusive: Behaviour and Flow
  • Internet Definitions
    • The act or process of communicating
    • the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs (Flow)
    • The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior (Behaviour and Flow)
    • the expression to another of information or thoughts through speech, writing, or gestures
  • Hogg & Vaughan (2005) Social Psychology: transfer of meaningful information from one person to another
blakar s 1984 definition
Blakar’s (1984) Definition
  • Communication: An intentional act to make something known to someone else
    • Kommunikasjon: En intendert handling med sikte på å gjøre noe felles med - eller kjent for - bestemte andre
  • Emphasizes behavioural (action) and directional component of communication
  • Grounded mainly in face-to-face interaction
  • Based on ’pragmatic’ aspects of communication
communication situation
Communication Situation
  • Demonstrate Communication in Face-to-Face Interaction
  • Need 4 Volunteers
  • Leave the Room for a few minutes while I set up…
the communication conflict situation ccs
The Communication Conflict Situation (CCS)
  • A ’City’ Map
  • Participant A must direct Participant B to a particular destination
  • 2 Routes—Simple and Complex
audience tasks
Audience Tasks
  • How do P’s establish a ”shared reality”—codes, contracts, etc.
  • How do they make attributions for successful or unsuccessful communication?
  • How P’s try to improve communication?
  • Write down examples of language used and interaction.
  • Explanation
  • Thoughts on participation?
  • Thanks!!!
  • Applause
the communication conflict situation ccs10
The Communication Conflict Situation (CCS)
  • The ’City’ Map(s)
  • Participant A must direct Participant B to a particular destination
  • 2 Routes—Simple and Complex
    • Experimental Manipulation of Complex Route
audience tasks round 2
Audience Tasks – Round 2
  • How do P’s establish a ”shared reality”—codes, contracts, etc.
  • How do they make attributions for unsuccessful communication?
  • How P’s try to improve communication and re-establish intersubjectivity?
  • Write down examples of language used and interaction.
the communication conflict situation ccs12
The Communication Conflict Situation (CCS)
  • Experiment developed by Blakar in the 1970’s
  • Constructed and controlled situation to examine when an essential aspect of communication is not fulfilled
  • Simple but demanding
  • To see what happens when a basic precondition for ’successful communication’ is not met
    • Everyday misunderstandings
3 goals of ccs
3 Goals of CCS
  • Examine missing precondition of same ’here and now’
  • Examine attributions P’s made to difficulties
  • Examine P’s attempts to improve communication effectiveness and re-establish intersubjectivity
analysis of ccs
Analysis of CCS
  • Simple Route
    • Participants’ Perspective
    • Experimenter/Audience Perspective
  • Complex Route
    • Participants’ Perspective
    • Experimenter/Audience Perspective
class discussion
Class Discussion
  • Questions and Thoughts
  • Audience?
  • Participants?
blakar communication theory
Blakar Communication Theory
  • Addressing questions about good or normal communication
  • Defining communication
    • Intentionality
  • Identifying and understanding preconditions for successful communication
  • Applying theory to social contexts: family, therapy, etc.
    • Using abnormal to understand normal
  • Addressing conceptual, theoretical, and empirical confusion in communication research in social sciences
    • Social-psychological perspective
blakar communication theory17
Blakar Communication Theory
  • Fundamental Question: What are the prerequisites for (successful) communication? Under what conditions will somebody succeed (to a reasonable degree) in making something known to someone else?
  • 3 Main aspects
    • Preconditions for successful communication
    • Variables affecting
    • Process of Communication
  • Interplay of individual, social, and situational preconditions
the preconditions
The Preconditions
  • Most Basic  Establishment of a shared social reality
  • Individual Preconditions
  • Relational Preconditions
  • Technical Preconditions
  • Situational Preconditions
  • Interaction between different preconditions
individual preconditions
Individual Preconditions
  • Will  Motivational Component
  • Can  Ability Component
    • Capacity to decenter and take perspective of the other
    • Individual’s self-esteem or self-confidence
attunement to the attunement of the other
Attunement to the Attunement of the Other
  • Decentration and Perspective-Taking
  • Decentration
    • Sender
    • Receiver
  • Egocentrism
  • Important during problems of communication process to re-establish intersubjectivity
relational preconditions
Relational Preconditions
  • Relations between ‘actors’ in communicative act
  • Confidence in the other, trust/distrust, seriousness
  • Understanding that the other has different perspective/position
  • Interaction with individual preconditions
technical and situational preconditions
Technical and Situational Preconditions
  • Technical
    • Access to a common code
  • Situational
    • Same contractual dimensions of here & now
variables affecting
Variables affecting
  • Variables that affect and determine process of communication
  • Background Variables
    • Age, Sex, Class, Education, Ethnicity
  • Personality Variables
    • Level of anxiety, self-esteem
    • Also affects the ‘Can’
process of communication
Process of Communication
  • Contracts adopted
    • What kind?
    • Adequacy
    • Adherence, violation, modification
    • Who proposes contracts?
      • Control & Power
  • Free vs. Bound Information
  • Control distribution and exertion
  • Attribution patterns of difficulties
  • Emotional climate
complexity within the preconditions and framework
Complexity within the Preconditions and Framework
  • Situational Variation
  • Interplay between preconditions
  • Background Variables
general theoretical statements on communication
General Theoretical Statements on Communication
  • Language is most common and important medium for communication
  • Most essential characteristic is that something is being made known to another (Rommetveit, Blakar)
  • Requires empathy and perspective taking in some kind of shared social reality
    • Only by the communicants taking the perspective of the other(s) into account, so that they (sender and reciever(s) may establish commonality, is communication rendered possible (Blakar, 1984)
  • Complex act that requires fulfillment of several preconditions
some issues
Some Issues
  • Communication vs. Interaction
    • Unintentional/unconscious aspects of communication?
  • Non-verbal vs. verbal communication
  • Too much of a situational, face-to-face definition? Too narrow?
  • Other aspects of intentionally making something known
    • E.g. media
expansion of communication
Expansion of Communication
  • Rommetveit/Blakar model connected to face-to-face interaction
  • How can we study communication that isn’t face-to-face from a social-psychological point of view?
    • Media communication?
  • Next week: Communication in a multicultural context
class discussion29
Class Discussion
  • Questions and Thoughts
  • What is successful or good communication?
    • Everyday examples
  • What about other theories for communication?
  • Communication vs. Interaction?
last word
Last Word...
  • Please keep quiet about the Communication Conflict Situation
  • Class Exercise
  • Reminder about Language, Communication, and Ideology
  • The Norwegian Multicultural Context
  • Communication, Social Relations, and Ideology in a Multicultural Society
  • 12 minutes
  • Word Association
language blakar 1979 2006
Language (Blakar, 1979; 2006)
  • An important bridge between the society and the individual
  • Culturally-mediated tool inherited from generation to generation
  • Instrument that we use to understand and grasp reality
    • Dyanmic and Flexible
    • Open and Generative System
  • Language is NOT neutral, objective, or ”fixed”
    • Sender’s choice of expression affects the receiver’s understanding (Blakar, 1979)
language blakar 1979 200635
Language (Blakar, 1979; 2006)
  • Language is POWER
    • All use of language implies structuring and influencing of another’s experience
    • ”Everyday Power”
  • Language as a system reflects socio-political power structure in a given society
  • Language is most common and important medium for communication
language communication ideology
Language, Communication, Ideology
  • Investigating communication requires looking at the positions used in establishment of social reality…mainly through language (Rommetveit, 1992)
    • Influenced by context: culture, historical moment, positioning of actors in situation, codes for correctness, etc.
  • Certain words & expressions are ”reflections” of ideologies
    • Linked with Blakar’s understanding of Language as mirroring and expressing existing power relations
  • We use Ideology as a critical concept for understanding how socially-shared, taken-for-granted knowledge in society (by individuals) upholds or legitimizes power relations
  • Changes in language use over time should reflect societal and ideological developments
  • Media are important (most important?) platforms in which individuals negotiate meaning (i.e.attitudes, beliefs, etc.)
    • Becoming increasingly as important as face-to-face interaction
  • Media language and change in media language can reflect ideology(ies)
what is multiculture
What is ”Multiculture”?
  • Descriptive: Word “reflecting reality” of living in a society with cultural diversity
  • Analytical/Ideological/Prescriptive: specific way of dealing with this cultural diversity or pluralism
    • Liberal Ideology stressing equality, identity recognition, integration, celebration of cultural traditions/diversity
  • Majority/Minority Relations & Multiculturalism
the norwegian multicultural context
The Norwegian Multicultural Context
  • Steady increase in immigration from 1951 – present (
    • Largest Groups: Pakistanis, Swedes, Iraqis, Danes, Vietnamese
  • Increased migration of visible minorities since the 1970s
    • Pakistanis, Iraqis, Vietnamese, Somalis, Turks
  • Always been multicultural?
communication in the multicultural society
Communication in the Multicultural Society
  • What words and expressions do we use to describe and understand the multicultural context?
  • How might these words and expressions affect & reflect majority/minorities: social and power relations, group boundaries, identities, etc.
    • Ideology(ies)
  • How might one have ’successful’ communication in a multicultural context?
    • Possibilities for perspective-taking?
    • Fulfilling of preconditions?
examining multicultural communication ideology
Examining Multicultural Communication & Ideology
  • Language in public discourse
  • New words and changes in frequencies of words dealing with multicultural issues
    • Atekst searches
    • Aftenposten 1984-2005
      • Longitudinal Perspective
  • Messages and Word Association
word association discussion
Word Association Discussion
  • Semantic Network of..
  • Flerkulturelt Samfunn
  • Flerkulturelle
fest i oslo mela festivalen
”Fest i Oslo” Mela Festivalen
  • Discussion in pairs
  • General discussion of article
  • Look at use of the words ”multikultur*” or ”flerkultur*”
  • From this article, how would you describe a multicultural festival or multicultural society?
fest i oslo mela festivalen45
”Fest i Oslo” Mela Festivalen
  • ”I dag åpner Mela, en multikulturell festival…”
    • Descriptive
    • What is a multicultural festival?
  • ”en av verdens største multikulturelle festivaler”
    • Descriptive
  • Arguing against FrP
fest i oslo mela festivalen46
”Fest i Oslo” Mela Festivalen
  • ”Den som tar turen til Rådhusplassen i helga, vil derimot få se hvilket glede den flerkulturelle virkeligheten kan representere.”
  • From reading this article, what joys are on show at the multicultural Mela Festival?
  • Showcase of Art & Culture
fest i oslo mela festivalen47
”Fest i Oslo” Mela Festivalen
  • ”Opprinnelig var Mela et norsk-pakistansk arrangement, men i år tar festivalen mål av seg til å la så godt som alle norske minoriteter få komme til uttrykk” My italics
fest i oslo mela festivalen48
Dervisj-dans Tyrkia

Flerkulturelt band med kvinner fra: Zimbabwe, Somalia, Tanzania, Algerie, Russland, Nigeria, og Norge

Vietnamesisk folkemusikk

Flamenco og sufi-musikk fra Sørasia

Internasjonal mat fra 35 boder

Norsk-vietnamesiske klesdesigneren

300 internasjonale kunstere innen musikk, sang, dans, teater, kunsthåndverk

”Fest i Oslo” Mela Festivalen
fest i oslo mela festivalen49
”Fest i Oslo” Mela Festivalen
  • Associations of ”multicultural” after reading this article?
  • Cultural markers: music, dance, art, food
  • Where is the majority?
multicultural message structure
Multicultural Message Structure
  • ”I et stadig mer flerkulturelt samfunn er det viktig å vite hvor man kommer fra, og kjenne sin historie.”
  • Class Interpretations?
multicultural message structure51
Multicultural Message Structure
  • ”I et stadig mer flerkulturelt samfunn er det viktig å vite hvor man kommer fra, og kjenne sin historie.”
    • Opening Mela Festival
  • ”I et stadig mer flerkulturelt samfunn er det viktig å vite hvor man kommer fra, og kjenne sin historie.” Adressavisen
    • Carl I Hagen’s Campaign Speech
  • ”I et stadig mer flerkulturelt samfunn er det viktig å vite hvor man kommer fra, og kjenne sin historie.”
    • Adressavisen
social relations in the multicultural society chryssochoou 2004
Social Relations in the Multicultural Society (Chryssochoou, 2004)
  • Moving into New Environments
    • Non-dominant cultural groups: Minorities
  • Receiving Immigrants: Perceiving the Other
    • Dominant cultural group: The Majority
  • Living Together
  • Towards Cultural Diversity: Representations, Identity, and Social Influence
minorities in the multicultural context
Minorities in the Multicultural Context
  • Choice of words to describe ”the other”
  • What words do we have to use in describing the people moving into the Norwegian society?
  • Are there new words reflecting this reality?
  • How might these words influence common sense & power relations (i.e. ideologies)?
the norwegian majority
The Norwegian Majority
  • Words to describe Norwegian
    • Norsk
    • Nordmann
    • Etnisk Norsk
ny tid discussion
Ny Tid Discussion
  • Front page…
  • How does Ny Tid’s choice of words and signs influence our understanding
    • What is intetionally being made known..i.e. communicated?
  • What are some other choices/words they could have made to alter the message and our understanding?
ny tid discussion63
Ny Tid Discussion
  • Etnisk Norsk
  • What is an ’etnisk nordmann’?
    • Denotation?
    • Connotations?
  • Class Semantic Network Associations
  • Why is it so important to be a ”nordmann”?
discussion of word association
Discussion of Word Association
  • EN a recent emerging representation that is incorporated into ideologies of cultural diversity
    • Emergence of “Ethnic Norwegian” = Norway in Transition
  • Multiplicity of meaning…
  • However, ’etnisk norsk’ probably denotes white Norwegians
  • Descriptive or Hegemonic?
    • Probably both depending on context
  • Connotation still open, but could be leading toward white hegemony and hierarchy of Norwegianness
ny tid discussion66
Ny Tid Discussion
  • Great Example of Communication in the Multicultural Society
  • Social Issues?
  • Complexity in the Multicultural Society
  • Choice of words and message structure in communication reflect ideologies in the multicultural society
    • Importance of context: sender/receiver, perceived social relations, structuring of a message
  • Multicultural Communication affects and reflects
    • Highlights issues involving minorities and the majority: recognition of identites, inclusion/exclusion, racism, prejudices, threat
    • Reflects power relations