Context and Communication

Topics: Communication, Cross-cultural communication, Sociology Pages: 6 (1788 words) Published: March 21, 2013
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Student ID |  5 |  7 |  9 |  7 |  5 |  7 |   |   | | Full name: Richard Barthes |
Email: [email protected] |
Course title: Communication |
Lecturer: Yvette Fisher |
Assignment number: 2 | Due date: 3rd of March 2013 | Assignment Description as stated in Course Information Booklet: |

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The significance of context

The human being is a social creature that spends most of his life communicating. In other words, a person is constantly receiving, sending messages and deriving meanings from them. Context greatly influences the meaning of the information being transferred. As a logic consequence, context-awareness is crucial to understanding messages within the communication process. On any given day, a person's communication is affected by varying and often overlapping contexts. Communication being an essential aspect in hospitality employees' work, much of the discussion of this essay will be based on occurrences within a service employee's typical day, with the aim to illustrate the importance of context in the communication process.

According to Goodwin and Duranti (1992, p. 3), “context is a frame that surrounds the event being examined and provides resources for its appropriate interpretation”. Therefore, context is an extensive concept. Not only does it affect the meaning and interpretation of messages, but it also regulates the participants' behaviours (Quintas et al. 2012, p.515). Context can be divided into five dimensions: physical, social, historical, psychological and cultural (Verderber, Verderber & Sellnow 2010, pp. 4-5). The physical context includes the concrete surroundings, the environmental conditions as well as the distance between participants. The social context encompasses the nature of the relationship between the speakers. The historical context or “temporal context is a message's position within a sequence of events” or conversations (De Vito 2011, p.7). The moods and feelings that affect the communication process fall within the psychological context. Finally, the cultural context represents the values, behaviours and beliefs associated with particular social and ethnic groups (Verderber, Verderber & Sellnow 2010). Song...
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