Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 16

Language & Power

Verbal & Nonverbal


Communication
Power & Language
• Identify Categories of Power
• Understand how Power is
encoded in conversation
• Consider Status Markers that
determine power
• Understand the role Phatic Talk
has in determining Power

2
Categories of Power:
• Practical
Physical actions, violence, skill, money,
goods or services
• Knowledge/ideas
Using knowledge to influence others
• Position
Power gained from position in a
hierarchy
• Personal
Personality, nurturing or caring 3
What type of power is this?

• The power that parents have


over children
• The power that newspapers
have over readers
• The power that customers have
over shop assistants
• Talking a bully out of thumping
you
4
Conversation is Ideological
• Conversations are human interactions
where power is encoded
• All discourse is ideological
(participants bring their world view and
status to conversation)

Norman Fairclough

5
All conversations are potentially
“Unequal Encounters”

• Language encodes world views and


status
 develops a power relationship

6
Power is being exerted …

• When one speaker is able to infer or


decode inferences that lead to an
inequality of relationship with the
listener
• When our mind is moved from what
we want it to dwell on to being
engaged by a text (written or spoken)

7
Status Markers
that Determine Power
• Agenda-setting and topic
management
• Turn-taking, holding and seizing
the floor
• Forms of address
• Phatic tokens
• Utterance types and language
• Directives
8
Agenda-setting and
Topic Management
• Who sets the agenda for what gets
talked about? Who leads the talk?
• Who chooses or changes the topic?
• Is this agenda allowed to be
ambushed or side-tracked?
• How are side discussions managed?

9
Turn-taking, holding
and seizing the floor
• Who holds the power in terms of
turn-taking?
• How are turns taken?
• How are interruptions dealt with?
• What happens if the turn-taking
“rules” are transgressed?
• Who talks the most?
• Who interrupts or backs down?
10
Audience Address
•I
suggests intimacy,
straightforwardness or openness
• You
suggests familiarity & friendship
• We
Inclusive
• suggesting membership of a group with
the speaker
Exclusive
• separates the speaker’s group from the
audience
11
Forms of address
• What terms are used when directly
speaking to another person in the
conversation?
• What does this tell you about the
power relationships?
• Who uses first names, titles or
honorifics?

12
Phatic Talk (small talk)
Core Talk Phatic Talk
• Relates to • Not relevant
intended to core
purpose of the purpose of the
conversation conversation
• Focused
• Atopical
• Context- discussion
bound
• Important for
• On-task
affective
• High
(social)
information
content content
13
Opening Conversations
with Phatic Talk
• we don’t just go straight into a topic
• start with a bit of friendly, sociable
stuff just to get warmed up
• begin with some social chat to break
the ice
the weather
the journey to arrive
unnecessary expressions of gratitude
enquiries about health
14
Closing Conversations

with Phatic Talk


• Start gathering belongings together
• Shift forward onto the edge of seat
• Start looking around you
• Pay a compliment
These are not necessarily the truth, but not
outrageously or obviously lies
• May need to hang around for 6 or more
turns after you have said “good-bye”

15
Phatic Talk & Power
• More powerful speakers tend to intiate
and restrict phatic talk
(as well as define what are acceptable
subjects for conversation)
• How might phatic talk makes it easier
for a less powerful participant to soften
a potential challenge by a more
powerful participant in a conversation?

16