2/29/2016 notes COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication
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COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication
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COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Becca Hanel on Monday March 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication at University of Colorado taught by dr. ruth hickerson in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see COMM 1210100-127:Perspectives on Human Communication in Art at University of Colorado.
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Date Created: 03/07/16
2/29/2016 >Engstrom reading How we talk about experiences influences and is influenced by societal change This is a difference in how comm scholar (versus a sociologist) would explore a social phenomenon Are societal changes reflected in media representations of the college experience? >Campus life in movies: Example Then: o Animal House released in 1978 but was meant to depict 1962 o Women on campus in the 60s were still a minority o Women often depicted as attending to earn MRS degree Now: o Today, women outnumber men in college enrollment o Are women now more often depicted as being serious and high achieving students? o Do women in the film still engage in mostly stereotypical “feminine” behavior? *Comm scholars regularly explore issues related to representation of identity So, we get ideas about what “normal” is (i particular social spaces contexts) from a variety of sources o Conklin argues that Animal House changed the expectations firstyear college students had of the college experience (including appropriate and acceptable behavior) *Key concepts: Gender v. sex Masculinity v. femininity Gender as performative Speech community Speech code Communicative competence >What is a man? What is a woman? Sex: biological features (physical fact) Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women >What is masculine? What is feminine? Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women Gender: what various social groups know to be a recognizable man/woman (human/social fact) Comm scholar Julia Wood attempted to answer the question, “What does it mean to us as individuals to grow up feminine or masculine in presentday America?” What does research have to say about these experiences? >Feminine 1. Appearance still counts: women are still judged by their looks. Desirable= pretty, slim, and welldressed 2. Be sensitive and caring: BE NICE, deferential, and helpful. Care about and take care of others 3. Negative treatment by others: Women are more often targets of sexual assault, are more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to face bad job salary discrimination 4. Be superwoman: you must have it all. It’s not enough to be a homemaker, you must also have a career and be a great mother 5. There is no single meaning of feminine anymore. No matter what you do, you will be applauded by some and criticized by others. >Masculine 1. Don’t be female: do not act, look, think, or feel like a woman or a girl. Do not show sensitivity or vulnerability 2. Be successful: achieve status. Don’t just be goodbe better and more powerful than your peers. Be a good provider. 3. Be aggressive: you will be rewarded for being a daredevil and a roughneck. Take a stand; don’t run from confrontation. Be tough. 4. Be sexual: interested in sex at all times. Have a number of sexual partners. Sexual conquest is a cornerstone of masculinity 5. Be selfreliant: don’t need others. Depend on yourself. Take care of yourself. Rely on yourself. >Gender as Performative How do we “do feminine” or “do masculine”? o Speech o Dress o Appearance o Language o Nonverbals o Behavior o And so on.. *Most of us have been socialized to understand that masculine and feminine traits and behaviors are and how to appropriate and perform them >Gender as Performative (in Engstrom’s article) Men performances of hegemonic masculinity include aggressiveness, toughness, lewdness Within the college context, women can also reinforce hegemonic masculinity o Seeking relationships only with “strong men” o Leaving men’s problematic practices unchallenged when they reference o alcohol usage to explain another practice (fighting, destruction of property, rape) >Engstrom cont. To understand human/social facts we have to looks at how they appear in conversation What kinds of speech codes shape how people talk? o Speech code: rules for producing culturally recognizable , appropriate speech >Engstrom’s Communication Problem The perception of college drinking is that the problem is the alcohol consumption itself. Engstrom wants to explain how certain habitual ways of speaking normalize collegeage drinking and justify bad choices Data show that students’ patterned ways of speaking especially about drinking, mitigate problematic student behaviors. Although such mitigating statements are, at times, by themselves problematic, they (re)produce a much more troubling masculinity. Engstrom’s theory Shifts the focus from how we can stop binge drinking on campus and asks instead: o “How do students, through everyday talk, collectively make sense of these actions?” >How is this related to shared social space? Speech codes are created and recreated in particular speech communities. o Speech communitya cultural group that has shared rules of speaking and interpretation of speech performance Understanding of what is normal or acceptable (i.e. the rules of drinking culture) is learned and practiced through social interaction (i.e. talking about drinking, and actually drinking) >Engstrom’s Findings Students adhere to the cultural patterns of speaking regarding alcohol references, which have at least four identifiable rules. If you are part of this particular speech community, you likely know the rules (speech codes) >4 Identifiable Rules Rule #1: Accept references to alcohol “as is” Rule #2: Validations of references to alcohol Rule #3: Refer to alcohol positively Rule #4: Referencing alcohol should point to normalcy >Rules in action Alcohol use excuses behavior that, in any other context, would be seen as antisocial and dispreferred o Urinating in public o Vandalism o Sexual misconduct “But I was drunk!” >Communicative Competence If you know the rules, you can participate without incident in the communicative event o Engstrom did not understand the rule about not asking for specific details (like how much someone drank) o This marked him as communicatively incompetent in this context o It also marked him as someone who was not part of this particular speech community (collegeage students discussion drinking and drinkingrelated behavior) >Practices that reinforce hegemonic masculinity Men engage in more aggressive, violent, and risktaking behavior “That's just how they are” Talking about this behavior in this way and then using alcohol consumption to excuse it only reinforces it as acceptable gender behavior >Dominant view: students drink too much, and they often engage in misconduct as a result Engstrom: this is a misrepresentation of what actually happens In talking about alcohol consumption, students create a “natural” relationship between excessive drinking and misconduct (“yes, I did that, but I was drunk”) >Engstrom conclusion People use human/ social facts about masculinity (and femininity) to accomplish social goals through communication (such as “being cool”) Engstrom: not all collegeage males enact (or support) the dominant type of masculinity Many collegeage women enact (or support) the dominant type of masculinity >Communication and social change Constitutive view: change the way people talkchange human/social facts change (social) reality Engstrom: change the way students talk about alcohol, they will be less likely to engage in (or support) drunken misconduct
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