Conduct an ethnographic study of language use in interpersonal communication.

For each of the journal entries you are asked to conduct an ethnographic study of language use in interpersonal communication. The lectures and readings are designed to give you a framework for conducting these studies. Each journal entry consists of three separate, but complimentary parts: (i) a review and summary of the relevant literature; (ii) data collection and its presentation; and (iii) an analysis of the data that examines features of a culture at work in communication. Here are some additional ideas that you might consider in relation to these three moments of inquiry.

(i) A review and summary of the relevant literature (2-3 pages)
Presented in this class is a general theory of communication in culture and more specific activity theories of facework, speech acts, person-referring forms, relational dialectics, cultural terms for talk, norms and rules, and narrative. In your paper discuss, at a theoretical level, what any of these theories of communication are. Use the readings assigned to that specific section of the class to help with your review—you may go outside of the class readings should you wish to. Cite your sources!
(ii) Data collection and its presentation (1-3 pages)

The data you will collect in this class will be conducted primarily through participant observations and interviews. Simply put, you will observe and document communication in its naturally occurring context. Document a short transcript of a conversation (it need not be any more than 3-4 exchanges in an ongoing piece of interaction).

The primary tool for organizing and presenting your observations is through the Hymes’ (1972) SPEAKING mnemonic. Note in your presentation of the transcription the setting or the scene, the participants, their ends or goals in view, the sequencing of the interaction, the key or emotional tone, the instruments or medium of communication (spoken, mediated, nonverbal, etc), the associated norms or rules, and whether or not the interaction was part of a larger genre for communication.

(iii) An analysis of the data that examines features of a culture at work in communication (2-3 pages)
Use the orientation you have developed in (i) to make a systematic analysis of this data in (ii). Ask yourself how the data reveals a culture at work? By culture we can mean any number of things: nationality, ethnicity, regionality, social class, gender (and all of its non-binary forms), sexuality, patterns of power, intimacy, solidarity, deference, etc. If your observation is one of intercultural communication how might the phenomena play into a sense of conflict, or breakdowns in communication?

Journal Entry VII: Rule and Norms
Using the norms and rules framework our observations of in situ interaction will be guided by the following research question: Do participants state or grant legitimate, moral imperatives in ongoing interactions? Using your fieldnotes and interviews (1) identify statements that carry a moral imperative (usually “ought” statements), and (2) explore how these statements are linked to actions and the persons that perform them. Use Brad Hall’s discursive force thesis explore the “cultural units” that mediate the conduct of those that you are observing

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