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ERIC Number: ED141857
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Bridging the Communication Gap: Understanding Communicative Distances and Cultural Differences.
Lukens, Janet G.
There has been relatively little research into the ways in which language may be manipulated to increase social distance in interethnic and interracial encounters. The first part of this paper discusses three types of communicative distance, which reflect three different intensities of ethnocentrism: "low,""moderate," and "high." The three communicative distances are: (1) the distance of indifference, which reflects insensitivity and obliviousness toward out-groups, but relatively little hostility; (2) the distance of avoidance, which reflects high in-group loyalty and avoidance of out-groups; and (3) the distance of disparagement, which reflects feelings of hostility toward out-groups and a desire to disparage them. The second section discusses a pilot study conducted to test the empirical validity of the three communicative distances. In the study, a group of untrained judges was asked to determine which of the three communicative distances was reflected in each of four speech samples collected from meetings of various groups in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which were discussing desegregation in the public schools. The concluding section of the paper suggests directions for future research. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (27th, Berlin, Germany, May 29-June 4, 1977)