Overcoming Communication Obstacles through Films in the Classroom.Report as inadecuate

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C.M. Condit (1986) has pointed out that audiences regard characterizations as the most salient feature of any text. The power of identification or "the result of all the components in the rhetorical act" (K. Burke, 1945, 1950) is compelling. The power generated by viewers' responses to character-centered films can be harnessed in the classroom to overcome communication obstacles. For instance, students often minimize the role that sociocultural differences play in interpersonal communication processes. That attitude may change while watching "Dances with Wolves" or "Secrets and Lies." The students' identification with the film's key characters makes it difficult for them to dismiss the devastating consequences of social stereotypes and cultural clashes. In addition to the concept of identification, the medium itself helps students overcome communication obstacles. Because discussions focus on the behaviors of characters in the film instead of people in the classroom, they are less likely to trigger defensive reactions. The films' settings provide a common, but neutral, ground for discussion. Through character-centered films, students recognize how human reactions to human differences create communication obstacles. By looking through the film camera's lens, students can also see that the similarities among people are just as numerous as the differences. (An appendix list 16 character-centered films.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Audience Response, Characterization, Communication Problems, Cultural Differences, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Films, Higher Education, Identification (Psychology), Instructional Effectiveness, Interpersonal Communication

Author: Higgins, Mary Anne

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=12528&id=ED417440

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