Buses as Public Spheres

A few years ago professor Renee Human rode the bus in Lexington, KY and spent one year analyzing her experience from a critical lens. She found a few patterns in how people who rode the bus communicated. Human (2008) asks two research questions during her experiment, the second question partly has to do with personal maps. Citing Benjamin … Continue reading Buses as Public Spheres

Self-categorization Theory

Henri Tajfel passed away in 1982, but work on the social identity approach to intergroup/intercultural communication was just heating up, so the late John Turner (Tajfel's student and colleague) continued the work with others-they attempted to explain how certain social identities (as explained by Social Identity Theory) are cognitively activated within people's brains, and their answer to this question … Continue reading Self-categorization Theory

Social Identity Theory

Throughout the week, you probably think of yourself as a daughter/son, sister/brother, mother/father, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, friend, coworker, employee, teammate, student, partner, traveler, customer, and countless other categories of identities. Social Identity Theory (SIT), first developed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner during the 1970s and 1980s, assumes these types of identities can influence our thoughts … Continue reading Social Identity Theory

Intergroup Contact Theory

What can we do to reduce prejudice?^ In 1954, Gordon Allport created the Contact Hypothesis in an attempt to answer that question, and it has been a successful framework in the struggle against prejudice for many decades. As alluded to by its name, the Contact Hypothesis focuses on contact between people of different backgrounds (e.g., cultures) and assumes … Continue reading Intergroup Contact Theory

Communication Accommodation Theory

Have you ever caught yourself speaking slower and louder to someone who did not speak your language well in an attempt to help them understand you? Or perhaps you remember a time when someone did that to you because they thought you didn't understand them. These accommodating behaviors, their motivations, and  their consequences, are what … Continue reading Communication Accommodation Theory