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Coordinated Management Of Meaning Essay

2059 words - 8 pages

CMM Theory Explanation Since the late 1970?s, a communication theory, Coordinated Management of Meaning, has been developing. W. Barnett Pearce and Vernon Cronen were the two people responsible. Their purpose was to explain that CMM is a rules based approach to bring understanding and reality to an interaction. They illustrated that in order to understand communication we had to look at it from the participant?s point of view (Jensen, 2000). I have applied the concept of CMM Theory to the movie ?Meet the Parents? to achieve a better understanding and illustrate the different aspects of this theory.In an interaction, CMM relies on coherence, coordination and mystery (Griffin, 1997). These steps allow us to further understand how we create realities out of our interactions. The first step in conversation is coherence.Coherence describes how meaning is achieved in an interaction. When entering a conversation we have certain expectations. We look to the hierarchy of meaning to make sense of the interaction. We begin with content (Griffin, 1997).The content is basically the raw data or the words. For example, we may say, ?You are a geek.? The actual words in that phrase are the content. Although we know what each word means we still do not know how we are going to interpret the statement. In order to construct meaning out of these words we go to the next level, speech act (Wood, 2000).Speech acts are the context of the content. This is how we decide how to interpret what is being said to us. For example, if you and your friend are joking around and he says, ?You are a geek,? while laughing, you are most likely to interpret that as being friendly. On the other hand, if a bully at school says the same thing to you while snickering, you are most likely to interpret it another way. The way that you interpret the content and speech acts also depends on the episode.The episode is the next level in the hierarchy of meaning. An episode is a recurring routine of interaction that is structured by rules and boundaries. For example, you may tell your father to shut-up when you are joking around about something that is embarrassing, however, it is not acceptable to tell your father to shut-up during an argument or in a more serious setting. These episodes help us to determine the rules or limitations of the interaction and what is said within the interaction.The fourth level in the hierarchy is relationships. This helps us to determine how we are supposed to act in a particular interaction with someone due to prior experiences. In other words, it shows us who we are to each other. For example, it may be acceptable to call one person a geek but not another. This is because it is understood within the one relationship that you are simply just exchanging friendly insults.An autobiography, or life script, is how you fell about yourself. This not only shapes how you look at yourself, but how you look at others. The autobiography level is important because it influences...

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