Communication Accommodation Theory- American History X

1780 Words Nov 24th, 2012 8 Pages
CAT- American History X In this paper, I will use CAT (Communication Accommodation Theory) to explain how convergence, divergence, and intergroup contact are illustrated within the film American History X. Convergence in CAT refers to the accommodativeness, the process concerned with how we both reduce and magnify communication differences between people in interaction. Talking about convergence, people tend to enhance interpersonal similarities and reduce uncertainties. The effect of converging towards or approximately to another can increase liking and enable him or her to be seen more competent and credible. It includes switching to the other’s language or dialect, or assuming the same level of the other’s interruptions, speech rate, …show more content…
Divergence in CAT refers to non-accommodativeness, to magnify the communicative differences. Divergence occurs when individuals desire to represent their in-group identity above others desire. It serves as a distinction to preserve dialect or vocabulary. Members of different ethnic groups often accentuate their identities by diverging from one another both verbally and nonverbally. Divergence can be particularly intense if people feel their identity is threatened and that the other group has historically and illegitimately discriminated against them. If a person accommodates an out-group member in this situations, that person is named as cultural traitor. If the out-group identity is more noticeable than the in-group or individual identity, there will be divergence less satisfaction. Here are some examples help to illustrate the concept of divergence: When Derek was in the prison, he found his in-group member. Everything is going well till one day Derek find out one of the prisoner in-group member trade with a Mexican American ethic group member. He is disappointed and had never acknowledged the possibility of his in-group member could do wrong. He shows his disapproval towards that member’s action nonverbally and walked away. In the next few days, Derek reveals to sit with his in-group for meals and he didn’t show any respect to his in-group. He started to play basketball with the other out-groups instead of gather with his in-group. By then, he offended

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