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Speech Community Theory

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by

Valeria Camarillo

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of Speech Community Theory

Speech Communities
Theory focuses specifically on how different social groups teach members distinct styles of communicating and interpreting the communication of others.
Usually a group of people who share not only a common language but also understandings of rules and norms that guide how members of the group practice and interpret speech activities.
Theorist believe that it echoes the CMM theory, which claims that communication occurs within a hierarchy of meanings, the highest being cultural patterns.
A personal example would be, whenever I go to one of my best-friends house, who happens to be Jamaican. When her family is around, they speak patois. I can understand a bit but I feel lost on most parts, because they perfectly understand each other and communicate effectively.
Speech Community Theory
Communication rules are
socially constructed patterns in the use and interpretation of communication within particular groups.
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Class Activity:

(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr


5. TRUE or FALSE: Feminine speech rules look to assert status and control.

6. TRUE or FALSE: If you've ever felt that everyone but you understood what was going on in a conversation, then you understand the basis of speech community theory.
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
notes
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Misunderstandings
Speech community theory is helpful in explaining misunderstandings in communication between people of different social groups.
Feminine communication community vs. Masculine communication community
Very common misunderstanding is what Tannen calls "troubles talk"
Improving the relationship by learning and adapting to each others communication rules.
Rules of Communication
To recognize communication rules, scholars have studied interaction in particular groups, especially among new members of the group.

Studying new members and children allows us to learn how communication rules are learned.

"there's no crying in baseball!" - from the movie
Leauge of Their Own
1
. True or False. Theory focuses specifically on how different social groups teach members distinct styles of communicating and interpreting the communication of others.

2. TRUE or FALSE: Studying new members and children of a particular group help you learn how communication rules are learned.

3.What other theory do theorists believe echo speech community theory?

4. _____________ _____ are patterns in the use and interpretation of communication within a particular group.


Feminine Communication Rules
Masculine Communication Rules
Use communication to establish and maintain relationships
Avoids criticism and promotes equality
Use communication to assert status and control
Aims to outdo others and embraces criticism
Class activity
Criticisms
Theory Obscures Human Diversity
One of the many issues with the
Speech Community Theory is that
some scholars believe that the theory
focuses too much on differences
between groups and not enough
on the differences within the groups

There is also a huge difference on how men and women from different cultures communicate. Men from a Latin background most likely communicate different than men from a caucasian background. Same issue arises with a woman from an African American background compared to a woman from an Asian background.
Concepts like "Women's Speech Communities" and "Mens Speech Communities" tends to bunch
all women and men into a generalized groups
that doesn't acknowledge the differences that there might be within each individual member.


Not all women/men act and think the same.

Theory Fosters Divisions Among Social Groups
Emphasizing differences between social groups fuels divisions that harm individuals and collective society.

Once we identify differences between women’s and men’s or black’s and whites’ styles of communicating, its tempting to make comparative judgement about which style is better.

Scholars who endorse speech community theory respond to this criticism by pointing out that they have encouraged respect for and understanding of diverse styles of interaction.

Just because there are many different styles of speech styles that does not mean that we have to compare them all. What happens a lot of times is that people find out and learn about all these different learning styles and they quickly try to decide which is the best style. This is not the purpose of the speech community theory, there can be multiple styles and they can all coexist with each other.

7. TRUE OR FALSE: Scholars believe that the theory focuses too much on differences
between groups and not enough
on the differences within the groups.

8. TRUE OR FALSE: We have to compare every single speech style in order to see which one is the best so that we can all use that one.

WHAT GUYS THINK IS CRAZY
VS.
WHAT GIRLS THINK IS CRAZY
Full transcript