The Theory Of Interethnic Communication

1056 WordsSep 28, 20175 Pages
Communication is a crucial aspect in people’s everyday life. Everything from word choice to personal perception can influence the interactant’s behaviors and styles of communication. Kim’s Contextual Theory of Interethnic Communication depicts the many layers and facets that attribute to the communication between two people belonging to different identities or groups. While there are four layers to Kim’s theory, this paper will focus on the behavioral aspect. Kim’s theory will be analyzed and explained through the lens of associative and dissociative behaviors. Kim’s Contextual Theory of Interethnic Communication According to Kim, there is a particular circumstance that must occur in order for an interaction to be considered an…show more content…
In this layer, personal and social identities of the communicator and interactant are revealed and specified. Lastly, the behavior layer describes the actions made by these individuals in response to interethnic communication. Whether these behaviors are subconscious or discernible, it can be classified as either associative or dissociative behaviors. This is considered the core of the concept. Just like a cake cannot be made without key ingredients such as eggs and flour, Kim’s model revolves around the behavior layer. Associative Behavior When communicators exhibit associative behaviors, they are utilizing verbal and nonverbal tactics that adapt to their conversational partner. Higher social status or power and commonalities between the individuals may explain why they are willing to do so. In attempt to demonstrate associative behavior, these individuals will partake in accommodation. According to the Communication Accommodation Theory, the interactants converge either upward or downward, unimodal or multimodal, or symmetrical or asymmetrical in order to adapt to the conversational setting (Zhang & Imamura, 2017). For instance, adults would speak slowly and use simple vocabulary when talking with children. In A Class Divided, the teacher would converge downward for her third-grade students to understand the concepts. As well as this, there are many conversational techniques that can be utilized. Techniques such as pausing, pacing,
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