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HOW METACOMMUNICATION CAN INVOLVE CULTURE TALKING ABOUT ITSELF: A RESEARCH LITERATURE ON CULTURAL TERMS FOR COMMUNICATION, AND THE ACTIONS THEY REFERENCE

by Donal Carbaugh, Professor
Department of Communication
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
e-mail: carbaugh@comm.umass.edu
Fax: 413 545 6399

Abstract: In 1989 a comparative study of communication was published which examined 50 "terms for talk" in 17 different societies. The purpose of the study was to explicate a theoretical position which embraced, at once,culturally diverse views about communication while providing a general framework for such study. Since the publication of this study, several researchers have used this framework in order to study cultural forms of communication in Colombia (Fitch, 1998), Israel (Katriel, in press), Japan (Hall and Noguchi, 1995), China (Garrett, 1993), Finland (Wilkins, 2001), Denmark (Rudnick, 2003), and in several communities of the United States including Native America (Carbaugh, 1999), work organizations (Hall and Valde, 1995), academic life (Baxter, 1993), and its students (Baxter and Goldsmith, 1990; Goldsmith and Baxter, 1996).
These studies have examined a variety of beliefs and values in kinds of communication including the channels of writing versus speaking (e.g., Baxter, 1993), speak ng versus listening (Carbaugh, 1999), and verbal versus nonverbal forms of communication (Scollo, 2003).
The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the general perspective at work in this kind of communication research, to explicate the specific theoretical stance taken, to illustrate the perspective, and to discuss its utility in studies of communication.

The original Comparative Study (with bibliography of central studies by Abrahams and Bauman, Katriel, Katriel and Philipsen, etc.):

Carbaugh, Donal. (1989). Fifty terms for talk: A cross-cultural study. International and Intercultural Communication Annual, 13, 93-120.

A Sample of Published works using the (1989) framework:

Baxter, L. (1993). "Talking things through" and "putting it in writing": Two codes of communication in an academic institution." Journal of Applied Communication Research, 21, 313-326.

Baxter, Leslie and Daena Goldsmith. (1990). Cultural terms for communication events among some American high school adolescents. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 54, 377-394.

Carbaugh, Donal. (1999). "Just Listen": "Listening" and Landscape Among the Blackfeet. Western Journal of Communication, 63(3), 250-270.

Fitch, Kristine. (1998). Speaking Relationally: Culture, Communication, and Interpersonal Connection. New York, London: The Guildford Press.

Garrett, M. (1993). Wit, power, and oppositional groups: A case study of "pure talk." Quarterly Journal of Speech, 79, 303-318.

Goldsmith, Daena and Leslie Baxter. (1996). Constituting relationships in talk: A taxonomy of speech events in social and personal relationships. Human Communication Research, 23, 87-114.

Hall, Bradford "J" and Mutsumi Noguchi. (1995). Engaging in "kenson": An extended case study of one form of common sense. Human Relations, 48, 1129-1147.

Hall, Bradford "J" and Kathleen Valde. (1995). "Brown nosing" as a cultural resource in American organizational speech. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 28, 131-150.

Katriel, Tamar. (In press). Dialogic moments: From soul talks to talk radio in Israeli culture. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

Philipsen, Gerry. (1992). Speaking Culturally: Explorations in Social Communication. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Michelle Scollo Sawyer. (2003). Nonverbal ways of communicating with nature: A cross-case study. Environmental Communication Yearbook, 1.

Dissertations using the framework:

Rebecca Townsend. (2003). "Speaking to the issue": An act and event of political deliberation in a town?s governance. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Massachusetts, 2003.

Wilkins, Richard J. (1999). "Asia" [Matter-Of-Fact] Communication: A Finnish Cultural Term For Talk In Educational Scenes. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, 1999.

Conference Papers using the framework:

Carbaugh, Donal. (2002). One visual portraint, two verbal portrayals: Seeing through cultural terms. Presented at the University of Washington?s Summer Institute on Making Communication Research Matter, July 9-12.

Rudnick, Lisa. (2003). "Janteloven" and the Communication of Danish Cultural Identity. Paper presented at the International Communication Association, San Diego, California, May 23-27.

Richard Wilkins. (2001). Infocentrism: An interactional code in some Finnish educational scenes. Presented at the National Communication Association?s summer conference, Rhetoric and Communication in the 21st Century, Jyvaskyla, Finland, June 14-16.

Related Comparative Study:

    Goldsmith, Daena. (1989/90). Gossip from the native?s point of view: A comparative study. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 23, 163- 194.

Related Theoretical Works:

    Philipsen, Gerry. (1997). A theory of speech codes. In G. Philipsen and T.

    Albrecht (eds.), Developing Communication Theories (pp. 119-156). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.



 
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