Coordinated Management of Meaning

Report
COORDINATED
MANAGEMENT OF
MEANING
Genevieve
Carlson
COORDINATED MANAGEMENT OF MEANING:
THE LONG DEFINITION
“Pearce and Cronen’s coordinated management
of meaning: Persons-in-conversation coconstruct their own social realities and are
simultaneously shaped by the worlds they
create. They can achieve coherence through
common interpretation of their stories told.
They can achieve coordination by messing their
stories lived. Dialogic communication, which is
learnable, teachable, and contagious, improves
the quality of life for everyone.(Griffin, A -1)”
COORDINATED MANAGEMENT OF MEANING:
THE SHORT DEFINITION
Every conversation has an afterlife. Tomorrow’s
social reality is the afterlife of how we interact
today.
Questions We Should Be Asking…
What are we making together?
How are we making it?
How can we make better social worlds?
(Grif fin, 67)
COORDINATED MANAGEMENT OF
MEANING
Introduced in 1978 by W. Barnett Pearce &
Vernon Cronen
Interpretive theory
Critical theory or a theory with a critical edge
Practical theory
CMM AS A PRACTICAL THEORY
Offers tools to improve communication
Understand flawed patters on
conversation
Identify critical moments of conversation
Suggests ways to talk to make a better
social environment
(Grif fin, 67 -8)
CMM AS A PRACTICAL THEORY
Strange Loop
 An unwanted repetitive communication pattern
Figure 6-1 Griffin, 68 Courtesy of W. Barnett Pearce
CMM AS A PRACTICAL THEORY
 What are other examples of a strange loop?
 How can this be put to practical use?
CMM AS A PRACTICAL THEORY
Strange Loop: Used in therapy
CMM AS A PRACTICAL THEORY
Mediation
 Questions to ask: why did we come to mediation,
what stories are presented about relationships and
others, how does that construct one’s identity, do
cultural narratives come into play?
 Helps describe the reflexive process of action and
interpretation that people are co-constructing.
(Griffin, 69)
CMM AS A PRACTICAL THEORY
Dialogic Communication
 Conversation in which people speak in a manner
that makes others want to listen, and listen in a
way that makes them want to speak.
 Talking through the issues: Example- racial
tension in small towns, open forums with
facilitators, transform social environment based
on the communication that took place at the
open forums.
(Griffin, 60-70)
CMM AS AN INTERPRETATIVE THEORY
Social Constructionist:
 Language theorist who believe that persons in conversations
co-construct their own social realities and are simultaneously
shaped by the worlds they create.
M.C. Escher’s Bond of Union
CMM AS AN INTERPRETATIVE THEORY
Social Constructionists:
1. The experience of persons -in-conversation is the primary
social process of human life.
 Communication isn’t just a tool, communication literally
forms who people are and forms a relationship.
CMM AS AN INTERPRETATIVE THEORY
Social Constructionists:
2. The way people communicate is often more important than
the content of what they say.
 Logical force: the moral pressure or sense of obligation a
person feels to respond in a given way to what someone else
has just said or done - “I had no choice.”
 Examples?
CMM AS AN INTERPRETATIVE THEORY
Social Constructionists:
3. The actions of persons-in-conversation are
reflexively reproduced as the interaction continues.
 Reflexivity: the process by which the effects of
our words and actions on others bounce back and
affect us.
 “What are we making together?”
(Griffin, 72)
CMM AS AN INTERPRETATIVE THEORY
Social Constructionists:
4. As social constructionists, CMM researchers see themselves
as curious participants in a pluralistic world.
CMM AS AN INTERPRETATIVE THEORY
GROUP ACTIVIT Y!
 Get into groups of 3 -4 people
 While having a casual conversation about any of the given topics
below be aware of how the four ideas of Social Constructionist
plays a part of the conversation.
 1 . How does communication form who you are and your
relationships with those around you?
 2. How were you communicating? Were you a victim of logical
force?
 3. How did reflexivity ef fect your conversation?
 4. Where you a participant in the story being created?
TOPICS
Best/Worst Restaurant
Best T V Show
Best Music Genre
Best/Worst Sports Team
Obama vs Romney
Evolution
CMM AS AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
Management of meanings: we’re obliged to
adjust our stories told to fit the realities of our
stories lived and vice versa
Stories lived are co-constructed actions that
we perform with others
Stories told are the narratives that we use to
make sense of stories lived
(Griffin, 73)
CMM AS AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
Hierarchy of Meaning:
 A rank order of relative significance of contexts -episode,
relationship, identity, and culture - that encompass a given
story as an aid interpretation.
 Every story is embedded within multiple contexts, or frames.
 Speech Act: any verbal or nonverbal message as part of an
interaction; the basic building blocks of the social universe
people create; threats, promises, insults, compliments, etc.
(Griffin, 74)
CMM AS AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
Hierarchy of Meaning
CMM AS AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
EPISODE
A “nounable”
sequence of speech
acts with a
beginning and an
end that are held
together by story; an
argument, interview,
wedding, mediation,
etc.
(Griffin, 75)
Relationship
A connection,
association, or
involvement.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/relationship
CMM AS AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
Identity
The condition of
staying oneself, and
not another.
Condition or
character as to who
a person or what a
thing is.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/identity
Culture
Describes webs of
shared meanings
and values.
(Griffin, 75)
CMM AS AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
The ranking order of
relative significance
of these contexts will
change from person
to person, from
situation to situation.
Identity may be the
most important
overarching context
in one person’s
modes of
communication
whereas personal
relationships might
be more important
to someone else.
CMM AS AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
Coordination: The process by which persons
collaborate in an attempt to bring into being
their vision of what is necessary, noble and
good and to preclude the enactment of what
they fear, hate, or despise.
Coordination takes place when we fit our
stories lived into the stories lived by others in
a way that makes life better
CMM AS A CRITICAL THEORY
The critical edge of CMM separates communication
styles that are harmful form those that are helpful
 CMM reminds us that communication has the
power to create a social universe of alienation,
anger, and malice- or one of community,
tolerance, and generosity.
(Griffin, 78)
CMM AS A CRITICAL THEORY
Cosmopolitan communication: Coordination with
others who have different backgrounds, values,
and beliefs without trying to change them.
Why is this important in today’s world?
(Griffin, 78-9)
CMM AS A CRITICAL THEORY
Narrow Ridge
 A metaphor of I-Thou living in the dialogic tension
between ethical relativism and rigid absolutism;
standing your own ground while being profoundly
open to the other.
 “On the far side of the subjective, on this side of
the objective, on the narrow ridge, where I and
Thou meet, there is the realm of the Between”
(Griffin, 79)
An
Interpretive
Theory
CRITIQUE
A Critical
Theory
A Practical
Theory
AN INTERPRETIVE THEORY
Lack of clarity has
limited CMM’s
aesthetic appeal and
has a reputation of
being a confusing
mix of ideas that are
hard to pin down.
AN CRITICAL THEORY
Depending on the definition of critical theory
will depend on if CMM really qualifies. CMM
makes clear value judgments about
communication patterns but doesn’t unmask
how communication can perpetuate the
unjust power imbalances in society. CMM still
has a critical edge to it which shouldn’t be
excluded.
(Grif fin, 80)
AN PRACTICAL THEORY
 CMM tools are put into practical use by
therapists, mediators, teachers and consultants
who have reported positive improvements in
their fields by following CMM guidelines.
However, there is still more research to be done.
CMM is commonly used alongside other forms of
communication theory as well.
 CMM is not very user friendly - cut and dry, step
by step which makes its practicality diminish.
( G ri f fin , 8 0 )

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