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Speech Community Theory

Dean Davis' group project & communication cafe # 6
by

Cristina Vega

on 31 August 2012

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Transcript of Speech Community Theory

Speech Community
Theory "From the outside looking in you could never understand it. From the inside looking out you could never explain it."
-Unknown A group of people who share not only a common language but also understanding of rules and norms that guide members of the group practice and interpret speech activity
p.220 - Idea that communication is a primary socializing process that teaches us how to see ourselves and others; it shapes our understandings of communication and how to use it in our relationships with others.(pg 234)
- Focuses specifically on how different social groups teach its members distinct styles of communicating and interpreting the communication of others Examples:
1.Jargon: doctors, law enforcement military
2.Social Situations: High School, FGCU
3.Women & Men
4.Racial differences What is Speech Community Theory? Langer along with Philipsen used ethnography to study the subjects.

ETHNOGRAPHY- generates understanding in the terms of those performing the actions. The theory that it most relates to is Coordinated Management of Meaning (chapter 7)

CMM- claims that communication occurs within a hierarchy of meanings, the higest of which is cultural patterns

CMM is very similar to speech community theory because it claims that the context of social group shapes how members communicate and interpret others' communication. Relation to PreviousTheories * SCT is helpful in explaining misunderstandings - ones that are recurrently surfacing in communication between people of different social groups. (pg 223)

~ The book talks about an example of a common misunderstanding between women and men that Tannen calls "troubles talk". - SCT explains misunderstandings. Operating from a feminine speech community. By the rules of her community, Glenn should show support by inviting her to talk about her feelings and by caring that she feels stupid. Glenn, however, is following the rules of masculine speech community, which tells him to do something concrete-to solve Denise's problem. Like many men and women, they show support to each other differently. They could improve the relationship by adapting to each others communication rules.

- Feminine and Masculine Communication Rules come into play as new variables to a theory (pg 224) New Ground The Critique Theory Obscures Human Diversity:

"focuses too much on the differences between groups rather than within" Theory Fosters Divisions Among Social Groups:

"emphasizing differences between social groups fuels divisions that harm individuals and collective society" Theory is Insufficiently Critical:

"it isn't as evaluative as it should be" What you should take away 1. It gives insight to the meaning of a speech community
How and what a speech community is, and it's inner workings.
How it relates to CMM theory (context of a social group shapes how members communicate and interpret other's communication)
Can identify different speech communities

2. Helps identify communication rules in a situation, and deal with misunderstanding
Helps understand the difference in men/women conversation and how we differ.
How men and women think differently. (Glenn & Denise, pg. 223) Thinking is the center of speech community theory. p. 220

Speech community is compatible with standpoint yet in a more towards specific social groups.

Central claim of this theory is that communication is primary socializing process that teaches us how to see ourselves and others; shaping our understanding of communication and how to use it in our relationships with others.

Knowledge about speech communities expands our awareness of human diversity and has potential to improve our skills in communicating with different people. Key Points Rules of Communication (pg.222)
Communication Rules - patterns in the use and interpretation of communication.
RULES ARE SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED Speech Community
Theory Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.
-Henry David Thoreau
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