You are on page 1of 22

Howard Giles

 "When people interact they adjust their speech, their

vocal patterns and their gestures, to accommodate to


 Turner & West 2010.

In other words…

 It attempts to explore the various reasons why individuals

emphasize or minimize the social differences between

themselves and their interlocutors through verbal

and nonverbal communication.

context. macro and micro-context concerns affect communication behaviors. and identity.CAT takes into consideration…  The relationship between language. . as well as the ways that power.  It focuses on the intergroup and interpersonal factors that lead to accommodation.

The reason behind this behavior is explained as to control the social differences between the interactants.  *Interactant – The word refers the close relations between each other with their communication.Communication Accommodation Theory  Elaborates the human tendency to adjust their behavior while interacting. .

.  The environment in which they are interacting also affects the communication behavior. People accommodate their communication activities to get approval and to set a positive image in front of the interactant.

There are two types of accommodation process explained in this theory: Convergence Divergence Overaccommodation .

. Convergence– convergence is a process where people tend to adapt the other person’s communication characteristics to reduce the social differences.

their "pronunciation. pause and utterance lengths. vocal intensities. 1979. 46) . and intimacy of self disclosures“  (Giles and Smith.Convergence  People can converge through many features of communication such as their use of language. non verbal behaviors.

as well as what they are able to infer about them and their backgrounds. .Convergence  People use convergence based on their perceptions of others.

when people have similar beliefs. personality and behaviors they tend to be more attracted towards each other. charisma.As Turner and West note. credibility). "When communicators are attracted to others they will converge in their conversations.“  Attraction (likability. also triggers convergence. .

that is: when convergence is perceived positively it is likely to enhance both the conversation and the attraction between the listener and the speaker. .  Thus when an individual shifts his speech and non-verbal behaviors in order to assimilate to the other it can result in a more favorable appraisal of him. The desire to make social interaction flow subsequently results in convergence.

social norms and power variables. . Tt could be said that convergence reflects "an individual's desire for social approval“  Other factors that determine whether and to what extent individuals converge in interaction are their relational history.

. Because individuals are more likely to converge to the individual with the higher status it is likely that the speech in a conversation will reflect the speech of the individual with the higher status.

Divergence  Divergence-the process contradicts the method of adaptation and in this context the individual emphasise is on the social difference and nonverbal differences between the interactants. .

divergence can be regarded as a very important tactic of displaying a valued distinctiveness from the other. .Giles & Ogay 2007  "Given that communication features are often core dimensions of what it is to be a member of a group.“  This helps to sustain a positive image of one's in-group and hence to strengthen one's social identity.

Divergence  Divergence can thus be a way for members of different groups to maintain their cultural identity. . a mean to contrast self images when the other person is considered a member of an undesirable group. and a way to indicate power or status differences. as when one individual wishes to render another one less powerful.

 People can both converge at some levels and diverge through others at the same time .

.Overaccommodation  Although people usually have good intentions when they attempt to use convergence in conversation. some interlocutors can perceive convergence as patronizing and demeaning and hence just as it can enhance conversation it can also detract from the processes of communication.

.Overaccommodation can exist in three forms:  Sensory overaccommodation.  Dependency overaccommodation  Intergroup overaccommodation.

Sensory overaccommodation  When an individual thinks that he is being accommodative to someone's linguistic or physical disability but overdoes it. so that the other person perceives her behavior as patronizing. .

" .Dependency overaccommodation  “When the speaker places the listener in a lower-status role so that the listener is made to appear dependent on the speaker and she understands that the speaker is the primary speaker in the conversation in order to communicate a higher status.

Intergroup overaccommodation  Involves manipulating people based on a general stereotype and not as individuals with an individual persona. .  The socially categorized stereotypes that people hold of others result in these cognitively linked forms of over- accommodation.