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ERIC Number: ED315834
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Communication about Uncomfortable Topics: A Test of Goffman.
Rudnick, Janine; Roth, Nancy
A study investigated the extent to which members of a state agency reported that they are comfortable talking about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the attendant topics of sex, homosexuality, intravenous drug use, death, and disease and the extent to which they use direct talk and indirect talk when they communicate about these topics. Three hundred seventy-three members of a state agency in a small southwestern city completed a questionnaire prior to receiving a 2-hour training session about AIDS. Subjects reported relative comfort in talking about all of these topics when directly asked to rate their level of comfort. In talking about AIDS, 81% of the subjects reported using direct forms of communication, and 43% used indirect forms. Analysis of variance yielded statistically significant differences between men and women on their comfort levels in discussing AIDS. There were no significant gender differences on the other taboo topics. Significant differences also existed between religious attenders and non-attenders. There were no significant patterns with other demographic variables. Correlations between comfort level and use of direct and indirect communication revealed that men reported significantly less comfort in talking about AIDS and reported significantly greater use of indirect forms of communication than women. (Three tables of data are included and 32 references are attached.) (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A