Survivor: Philippines - an Analysis Using Communication Theory

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“SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES”: An Analysis of the CBS Program Using Three Theories of Communication

Sally Annabella

Communications 307 Dr. Debbie Way November 2012

No one has died. Some have been medevacked. It’s a rough game. The CBS television series Survivor is one of the first ‘reality tv’ shows and is now in its 12th year. It features eighteen contestants striving to "Outwit, Outplay and Outlast" each other to win one million dollars by the end of the season. While it is important to be in good physical shape (the challenges are just that, physically challenging) it is imperative to have impeccable communication skills. In watching episodes of the current season, Survivor: Philippines, I have noticed: Communication Privacy
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The one most applicable in Survivor involves boundaries. A boundary linkage is formed when two or more parties share information (Dainton and Zelley p. 71) with each owner of the information being responsible for its privacy. Inevitably, when one player finds a hidden Immunity Idol, they cannot seem to keep the information to themselves. They feel they must entrust someone else with this extremely private information and this almost certainly is their undoing. Dainton and Zelley show on page 72 that Petronio in 2002 states that boundary turbulence occurs when the rules for privacy management are not clear. This statement implies that boundary turbulence is unintentional. In watching Survivor, I found that boundary turbulence could also be intentional. In one instance, Player A told Player B she would not tell anyone that he (Player B) was in possession of a hidden immunity idol, yet she did tell someone else (Player C.) Player C then confronted Player B, causing boundary turbulence with Player A. In another instance (and a different set of players), Players A and B together found a clue to a hidden immunity idol. They promised each other not to tell anyone else. Player A then told Player C. Player C seized an opportunity to plant the clue in Player B’s possessions, making it appear to Player A that Player B had betrayed her, thus creating boundary turbulence. In Message Design Logics Theory, there are three types of communication, expressive (p. 35), conventional
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