Communication Accommodation Theory

Published: 2021-09-11 10:15:11
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Category: English

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Introduction

Individuals are faced with many problems when it comes to communicating their needs with their interactant(s). Is my voice too loud or squeaky? Am I talking properly? Does the other person understand what I am saying? These are the types of questions that are subconsciously or consciously generated in the mind of those individuals engaging in a conversation with their interactant(s). Figuring out the right words and how to say it expresses the notion of effectively communicating their needs to that of their interlocutor(s). Normally, birds of the same feather flock together and this idiom is applied to how people who take a liking in one another orchestrate similar actions and responses. Generally, there is a framework behind why people say what they say and how to whom they are interacting with, regardless if it will produce a positive or negative social or personal outcome.
The main subject of this framework, which explains why individuals have a specific communicative style when interacting with others, is Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT). This theory is an essential aspect to the communication and interaction process of human beings. According to Ayoko, Härtel, & Callan (2002), CAT explains the communicative styles and strategies that shape communicative interaction. The importance of this subject is the ability to enlighten when and why conversers alter their communicative actions to help their identity, relational, and message goals and how both parties in interactional context manage that process (Pitts, & Harwood, 2015).
When multiple social identities are at stake for each communication interaction, how would one continue to accommodate with multiple social identities? This experiment being drawn will potentially discover new aspects as to how many identities individuals will have to encounter to keep up with accommodating to the other interlocutor(s)’ communicative styles.
Literature Review
Throughout the series of many researches conducted on this theory, there are multiple concepts derived from CAT. This theory has been applied to numerous communication and interaction incidents for many dyads, in-groups and out-groups. Communication accommodation theory is known to be the one of the most prominent theories in the interactional basis of human communication (Giles, Linz, Bonilla, & Gomez, 2012). It is the basis of understanding why individuals interact with others in the most peculiar ways. Ayoko & et al., (2002) believe that communication accommodation theory examines the attitudes, motives and communication styles that shape communicative interaction. In addition to what Ayoko, Härtel, & Callan stated, many researchers believe that the whole purpose of this theory was devised to give an understanding the cognitive and affective processes essential to speech convergence and or divergence.
Convergence is defined as changing the norms that individuals are normally associated with toward others they encounter on an everyday basis. Changing of these norms is regarded to reduce major social distances between the speakers (Giles 2009). In contrast to convergence is divergence. Speakers who do not wish to reduce significant social distances between their interactant(s), which leads to dissimilarities to be often formed is known as divergence (Giles 2009). Convergence and Divergence are branches of communication accommodation theory. Both aspects infer if the speaker is willing to switch how they talk and gestures to accomplish their social identity goals. Giles (2009) continues to confer that CAT acknowledges the practicability of instantaneously bringing convergences and divergences together, but at diverse communicative levels, in order to achieve complementary identity and social needs.

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