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ERIC Number: ED380852
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Feb
Pages: 56
Abstractor: N/A
Mahatma Gandhi's Theory of Nonviolent Communication.
Bode, Robert A.
In this paper, an attempt is made to reveal from Gandhi's thoughts, life, and work a nonviolent communication theory. The revelation of such a theory of nonviolent communication has the potential to add substantially to the understanding of what may bring about greater communal harmony in a variety of communication contexts, and the ability to educate persons about what constitutes peaceful and nonviolent communication and relationships. While no communication theorists, ancient or contemporary, specifically state that nonviolent speech and acts are central to their theories of communication, Mahatma Gandhi's thoughts, life, work, and his views on nonviolent communication make a contribution to communication theory. Gandhi did not specifically state he had a nonviolent communication theory; indeed, he denied being a theorist. He was an activist. The nonviolent communication theory consists of four theoretical units: (1) nonviolent speech and action; (2) maintenance of relationships and enrichment of personhood; (3) openness; and (4) flexibility. To carry these units further: Gandhi predicted that from violent communications harm would result, and that nonviolent communication contributes to the maintenance of peaceful relationships and to the enrichment of personhood. The theory of nonviolent communication recommends means (flexibility and openness) of achieving the end. The widespread utility of the theory of nonviolent communication seems to be useful for peace educators to consider as they continue to stress the importance of nonviolence in communication situations. (Contains 160 notes.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A