Making Social Worlds: A Communication Perspective / Edition 1

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Making Social Worlds: A Communication Perspective offers the most accessible introduction to the tools and concepts of CMM – Coordinated Management of Meaning – one of the groundbreaking theories of speech communication.

  • Draws upon advances in research for the most up-to-date concepts in speech communication
  • Defines the 'critical moments' of communication for students and practitioners; encouraging us to view communication as a two-sided process of coordinating actions and making/managing meanings
  • Questions how we can intervene in dangerous or undesirable patterns of communication that will result in better social worlds
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Making Social Worlds is an exciting and gutsy volume readable by a range of audiences. The focus on critical interaction moments allows intelligent probing communication–based analyses of everything from couples fighting to wars and international relations. The conversational writing style kept me engaged from beginning to end." Stanley Deetz. Professor Director of Peace and Conflict Studies National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar International Communication Association Past-President and Fellow

"This is not only a marvelously lucid updating of CMM theory, it also demonstrates the broad applicability of this important conceptual work to problems and potentials of human communication." Kenneth J. Gergen, author of An Invitation to Social Construction

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405162593
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/13/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

W. Barnett Pearce is Professor in the School of Human and Organization Development, Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. Dr. Pearce has published extensively on communication theory and is one of the principal developers of the theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) currently in use by scholars and practitioners.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
An Invitation...     ix
Extended to...     xii
Everyone     xii
Students     xii
Professionals     xv
With Appreciation for...     xv
Critical Moments that Shape Our Social Worlds     1
Preview     1
A Critical Moment in a 911 Emergency Telephone Call     1
Why Acting Wisely in Critical Moments is Important: We're in a Race that We Need to Win     6
9/11: A Missed Opportunity to Act Wisely in a Critical Moment     12
What happened?     12
How was the story told?     13
How did President Bush respond?     16
Could President Bush have responded in another way?     17
Examples of acting wisely in critical moments     18
Could President Bush have acted more wisely in the critical moment of 9/11?     21
Taking a Communication Perspective on Social Worlds     29
Preview     29
Everybody Has a Theory of Communication, Although Most People Don't Know It     30
If Communication is so Important, How Should We Understand It?     30
My Discovery of Social Worlds     38
Social worlds     40
The worldliness of social worlds     41
There are many social worlds     42
Social worlds are made     48
Each of us is an agent in the process of making social worlds     52
Questions Asked by Those who Take a Communication Perspective on Social Worlds     53
Paradigms and the "Physics" of Social Worlds     57
Preview     57
What was That?     58
Paradigms     58
Questions and Questioning     61
Playfulness     65
Systemic     67
Process     68
Emergent Characteristics     70
Communication: Coordinating Actions and Making/Managing Meanings     78
Preview     78
Theory as a Way of Seeing Things     78
Coordinating Actions     80
Choosing "coordination" as a sensitizing concept for understanding communication     83
Understanding how patterns of communication develop and discerning critical moments     88
Acting wisely in critical moments     93
Making/Managing Meaning     95
Coherence: the gift of meaning and purpose     96
Subjugation: the cost of fitting into prefigured molds     98
Mystery: the gift of wonder and openings for exploration      98
Communication as the Site where Social Worlds are Made     100
Doing Things in Communication: Speech Acts     105
Preview     105
Speech Acts and the Quality of Our Lives     105
Our Social Worlds are Made of Speech Acts     106
Why call them "speech acts"?     108
How many speech acts are there?     109
Where do speech acts come from?     110
Speech Acts are Made in Coordinated Actions     112
Performing Speech Acts     115
What is being done by what is said? Conversational implicature     116
To what is that a response? The conversational triplet     117
What can/must/should I do? Logical force     119
What is the wisest course of action? Ante-narrative     121
Making Better Social Worlds     122
Change the situation so that there will be a different ratio of speech acts     123
Resist or prevent the performance of undesired speech acts     124
Facilitating or enabling the performance of desired speech acts     126
Episodes and Patterns of Communication     131
Preview     131
Social Life is Episodic     132
Our Social Worlds are Made of Episodes     133
Making Episodes      134
Making/managing meaning: perceiving the flow of experience as episodes     135
Realizing episodes in coordinated action     148
Patterns of Communication     157
Making Better Social Worlds     162
Freeing us up so that we can make wiser choices     162
Calling better patterns of communication into being     165
Selves and Forms of Consciousness     171
Preview     171
Here I Am!     171
Selves are Made in Processes of Communication     173
Forms of Consciousness Emerge in Processes of Communication     181
The Role of Selves in Making Social Worlds     189
Making Better Social Worlds     191
Is there an innate impulse toward evolution of consciousness?     192
Is there a special kind of transformative learning?     192
How can we support each other in our zones of proximal development?     193
How can we structure our institutions so that they support the evolution of consciousness?     194
Can we take proactive steps to structure better forms of communication?     195
Relationships and Relational Minds     199
Preview     199
The Difference between Being Related and Being in Relationship      199
Relationships and Minds as Objects in Our Social Worlds     200
Relationships as Contexts for the Way We Communicate     204
Making Relationships in Communication     210
The Evolution of Relational Minds     213
Making Better Social Worlds     216
Afterword: Something of a Guide for Using CMM     224
Warning!     224
Ways of "Using" CMM     225
How Do You Know if You've Used CMM Well?     226
A Typical Four-phase Sequence in Using CMM     227
Description     227
Interpretation     228
Critique     229
Putting it into practice     230
Entry Points for CMM Practice     231
An Example of Consulting Using Systemic Questioning     232
This is a Test...     239
Index     241
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