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Interpersonal Communication Case

Autor:   •  March 27, 2015  •  Case Study  •  653 Words (3 Pages)  •  586 Views

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Sam Fischette

November 17,2014

Interpersonal Communication


Trimmed Recording 0:00-3:10

Feared or Loved? Fieldnotes II

        In order to precisely analyze the complexities and depth of a social interaction it is important to completely comprehend the social setting and context of the encounter you are studying. From time to time setting and context have greater importance than the dialogue observed. For example, language spoken in CMCL C122 may be inappropriate to say in a formal setting. Thus I believe it is useful to give context and setting information to fully comprehend the social encounter I analyzed.

        My audio was captured at 8pm on November 16th at the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity house. I chose to capture audio at the Phi Sigma Kappa house because I believe the interactions that occur within its confines are ethnographically dense. My analysis will reflect themes discussed in class such as gender roles and power processes. The audio segment I selected from my original recording offers great evidence to how young men behave and speak with one another.

        Upon reading Keisling’s Power and the Language of Men it became clear to me that power is a much more complex idea than I had originally thought. In particular, power can be gained, lost, and displayed in 7 ways. In the short segment I transcribed it was evident that certain power processes were particularly notable. Demeanor, physical, and ideological power were displayed by those who were recorded. Another important takeaway from Keisling’s piece is that powerful people’s actions are contagious and influential to others. Zach, Matt and Skip all displayed an abundance of kind behavior. Zach’s frequent and positive responses to anyone like, “Really?![LF]”(line21), and “They’re SOO hot (smiling) [LF](line43) are catalysts for encouraging conversation. Smiling, laughing, and endorsements of each other’s claims and points were saturated in my transcription. It was clear that demeanor power (good guy) skills were being displayed in full force. It felt as if there was a competition to see who could be the friendliest guy in the room. The outcome of being friendly in this scenario is beneficial for one’s ability to control conversation with power. Zach’s behavior was evidence of this. Because he was always laughing and smiling, he obtained demeanor power, which he expressed through leading conversation topics. Although the sample size is small, these observations of male kindness contrast to the young men’s hierarchical nature to attack the weakest link. If Keisling’s claims hold true that power can be achieved equally through many means, then Prince Nicolo Machiavelli’s most famous phrase must be discussed. Is it better to be feared or loved? Is that question gender conditional?


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