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DEEPEN YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE THEORIES IN THE 10TH EDITION

 

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New to Theory Resources?
Find out more in this
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Chapter Outlines
10th Edition

From the Instructors Manual


List mode: Normal (click on theory name to show detail) | Show All details | Clear details

Chapter  6—Coordinated Management of Meaning

  1. Introduction.
    1. Barnett Pearce and Vernon Cronen regret the fact that most communication theorists and practitioners hold to a transmission model of communication.
    2. They’d say that seeing communication as a transmission of ideas looks through communication rather than directly at it.
    3. In contrast, Pearce and Cronen offer the coordinated management of meaning (CMM) as a theory that looks directly at the communication process and what it’s doing.
    4. They believe that communication is a constitutive force that shapes all of our ideas, our relationships, and whole social environment.
  2. First Claim: Our communication creates our social worlds
    1. Selves, relationships, organizations, communities, and cultures are the “stuff” that make up our social worlds.
    2. For CMM theorists, our social worlds are not something we find or discover. Instead, we create them.
    3. Barnett Pearce summed up this core concept of the theory by asserting that persons-in-conversation co-construct their own social realities and are simultaneously shaped by the worlds they create.
    4. Using M.C. Escher’s lithograph, Bond of Union, the authors draw three parallels.
      1. The experience of persons-in-conversation is the primary social process of human life.
      2. The figures in the lithograph are bound together regardless of what they are talking about; the content is less important than the way they say it.
      3. The endless ribbon in the Bond loops back to reform both persons-in-conversation, demonstrating reflectivity.
    5. As social constructionists, CMM researchers see themselves as curious participants in a pluralistic world.
      1. They are curious rather than certain.
      2. They are participants rather than spectators.
      3. They live in pluralist worlds rather than seek a singular Truth.
  3. Second claim: The stories we tell differ from the stories we live
    1. CMM uses the term story to refer to much of what we say when we talk with others about our social worlds—ourselves, others, relationships, organizations, or the larger community
    2. CMM theorists distinguish between stories lived and stories told.
      1. Stories told are tales we tell ourselves and others in order to make sense of the world around us and our place in it.
      2. CMM calls this process coherence, the making and managing of meaning.
      3. The management of meaning involves the adjustment of our stories told to fit the reality of stories lived—or vice versa.
      4. Stories lived are the co-constructed actions we perform with others.
      5. Coordination takes place when we fit our stories lived into the stories lived by others in a way that makes life better.
    3. Stories told: Making and managing meaning.
      1. The stories we tell or hear are never as simple as they seem.
      2. LUUUUTT is an acronym to label the seven types of stories.
        1. Lived stories
        2. Unknown stories
        3. Untold stories
        4. Unheard stories
        5. Untellable stories
        6. Story Telling
        7. Stories Told
      3. There is no correct story or correct interpretation of it. CMM theorists created the LUUUUTT model to demonstrate the complexity of social situations.
    4. Stories lived: Coordinating our patterns of interaction
      1. There’s almost always a difference or tension between our stories told and stories lived.
      2. Pearce and Cronen are particularly concerned with the patterns of communication we create with others.
      3. The serpentine model can map out the history and provide insight into persons-in conversation.
      4. Logical force is the moral pressure or sense of obligation a person feels to respond in a given way.
      5. CMM describes this type of conversational sequence as an unwanted repetitive pattern (URP) which neither party wants to repeat but they keep reliving it.
      6. Coordination refers to the “process by which persons collaborate in an attempt to bring into being their vision of what is necessary, noble, and good and to preclude the enactment of what they fear, hate, or despise.”
      7. Pearce used the phrase coordination without coherence to refer to people cooperating, but for quite different reasons.
  4. Third Claim: We get what we make.
    1. Since CMM claims we create our social worlds through our patterns of communication, it follows that we get what we make.
    2. Barnett Pearce urged that we ask three questions when we reflect on past interactions: how did that get made? What are we making? What can we do to make better social worlds?
    3. The authors illustrate the principle with an extended example between Em and Bea.
    4. A bifurcation point is the turning point in a conversation where what one says next affects the unfolding pattern of interaction and takes it in a different direction.
  5. Fourth Claim: Get the pattern right, create better social worlds
    1. Barnett Pearce admitted he couldn’t be specific on what to do to make social worlds better.
    2. Barnett and Kim Pearce describe better social worlds as replete with caring, compassion, love, and grace among its inhabitants—not the stated goal of most communication theories.
    3. The theorists claim is that one does not need to be a saint, a genius, or an orator to create a better social worked. The communicator, however, must be mindful.
    4. Mindfulness is a presence or awareness of what participants are making in the midst of their conversation.
    5. For an overall remedy to unsatisfactory or destructive patterns of interaction, CMM theorists advocate dialogue, a specific form of communication that they believe will create a social world where we can live with dignity, honor, joy, and love.
    6. Barnett and Kim Pearce have adopted Jewish philosopher Martin Buber’s perspective on dialogue.
  6. Ethical reflection: Martin Buber’s Dialogic Ethics.
    1. Buber, a German Jewish philosopher, focused his ethical approach on the relationship between people rather than on moral codes of conduct
    2. He contrasted two types of relationships—I-It versus I-Thou.
      1. I-It treats the other person as an object to be manipulated.
      2. I-Thou treats our partner as the very one we are.
    3. For Buber, dialogue is a synonym for ethical communication.
    4. Buber used the image of the narrow ridge to illustrate the tension of dialogic communication.
    5. Duquesne University communication ethicist Ron Arnett notes that “living the narrow ridge philosophy requires a life of personal and interpersonal concern, which is likely to generate a more complicated existence than that of the egoist or the selfless martyr.”
  7. Critique: Highly practical as it moves from confusion to clarity.
    1. By offering such diagnostic tools as the serpentine and LUUUUTT models of communication, CMM promotes a deeper understanding of people and of the social worlds they create through their conversation.
    2. Unlike many theories which seek only to describe communication patterns, CMM theorists and the researchers they inspire make it clear that their aim is to make better social worlds.
    3. Although many objective theorists dismiss CMM because of its social constructionist assumptions, CMM has generated widespread interest and acceptance within the community of interpretive communication scholars.
    4. If changing destructive patterns of communication in whole communities strikes you as a bit of a stretch, you should know that pursuit of this goal is why Barnett and Kim Pearce founded the Public Dialogue Consortium and the CMM Institute.
    5. CMM scholars and practitioners use a wide range of qualitative research methods—textual and narrative analyses, case studies, interviews, participant observation, ethnography, and collaborative action research
    6. The aesthetic standard for an interpretive theory has two components—artistry and clarity. For some who have immersed themselves in CMM literature both Barnett and Kim Pearce’s often poetic language reflects the beauty of the human soul and the world as it could be. Yet for others, lack of clarity is a real problem. 

You can access the Outline for a particular chapter in several ways:

  • Switch to View by Theory, then select the desired theory/chapter from the drop-down list at the top of the page. Look in the list of available resources.
  • To quickly find a theory by chapter number, use the Table of Contents and link from there. It will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.
  • You can also use the Theory List, which will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.

Back to top



Resources
by Type




 OUTLINES


 VIDEOS


 ESSAY


 LINKS





Instructors can get
additional resources.
Read more

New to Theory
Resources?

Find out more
in this short
video overview
(3:01).

Chapter Outlines
10th Edition

From the Instructors Manual


List mode: Normal (click on theory name to show detail) | Show All details | Clear details

Chapter  6—Coordinated Management of Meaning

  1. Introduction.
    1. Barnett Pearce and Vernon Cronen regret the fact that most communication theorists and practitioners hold to a transmission model of communication.
    2. They’d say that seeing communication as a transmission of ideas looks through communication rather than directly at it.
    3. In contrast, Pearce and Cronen offer the coordinated management of meaning (CMM) as a theory that looks directly at the communication process and what it’s doing.
    4. They believe that communication is a constitutive force that shapes all of our ideas, our relationships, and whole social environment.
  2. First Claim: Our communication creates our social worlds
    1. Selves, relationships, organizations, communities, and cultures are the “stuff” that make up our social worlds.
    2. For CMM theorists, our social worlds are not something we find or discover. Instead, we create them.
    3. Barnett Pearce summed up this core concept of the theory by asserting that persons-in-conversation co-construct their own social realities and are simultaneously shaped by the worlds they create.
    4. Using M.C. Escher’s lithograph, Bond of Union, the authors draw three parallels.
      1. The experience of persons-in-conversation is the primary social process of human life.
      2. The figures in the lithograph are bound together regardless of what they are talking about; the content is less important than the way they say it.
      3. The endless ribbon in the Bond loops back to reform both persons-in-conversation, demonstrating reflectivity.
    5. As social constructionists, CMM researchers see themselves as curious participants in a pluralistic world.
      1. They are curious rather than certain.
      2. They are participants rather than spectators.
      3. They live in pluralist worlds rather than seek a singular Truth.
  3. Second claim: The stories we tell differ from the stories we live
    1. CMM uses the term story to refer to much of what we say when we talk with others about our social worlds—ourselves, others, relationships, organizations, or the larger community
    2. CMM theorists distinguish between stories lived and stories told.
      1. Stories told are tales we tell ourselves and others in order to make sense of the world around us and our place in it.
      2. CMM calls this process coherence, the making and managing of meaning.
      3. The management of meaning involves the adjustment of our stories told to fit the reality of stories lived—or vice versa.
      4. Stories lived are the co-constructed actions we perform with others.
      5. Coordination takes place when we fit our stories lived into the stories lived by others in a way that makes life better.
    3. Stories told: Making and managing meaning.
      1. The stories we tell or hear are never as simple as they seem.
      2. LUUUUTT is an acronym to label the seven types of stories.
        1. Lived stories
        2. Unknown stories
        3. Untold stories
        4. Unheard stories
        5. Untellable stories
        6. Story Telling
        7. Stories Told
      3. There is no correct story or correct interpretation of it. CMM theorists created the LUUUUTT model to demonstrate the complexity of social situations.
    4. Stories lived: Coordinating our patterns of interaction
      1. There’s almost always a difference or tension between our stories told and stories lived.
      2. Pearce and Cronen are particularly concerned with the patterns of communication we create with others.
      3. The serpentine model can map out the history and provide insight into persons-in conversation.
      4. Logical force is the moral pressure or sense of obligation a person feels to respond in a given way.
      5. CMM describes this type of conversational sequence as an unwanted repetitive pattern (URP) which neither party wants to repeat but they keep reliving it.
      6. Coordination refers to the “process by which persons collaborate in an attempt to bring into being their vision of what is necessary, noble, and good and to preclude the enactment of what they fear, hate, or despise.”
      7. Pearce used the phrase coordination without coherence to refer to people cooperating, but for quite different reasons.
  4. Third Claim: We get what we make.
    1. Since CMM claims we create our social worlds through our patterns of communication, it follows that we get what we make.
    2. Barnett Pearce urged that we ask three questions when we reflect on past interactions: how did that get made? What are we making? What can we do to make better social worlds?
    3. The authors illustrate the principle with an extended example between Em and Bea.
    4. A bifurcation point is the turning point in a conversation where what one says next affects the unfolding pattern of interaction and takes it in a different direction.
  5. Fourth Claim: Get the pattern right, create better social worlds
    1. Barnett Pearce admitted he couldn’t be specific on what to do to make social worlds better.
    2. Barnett and Kim Pearce describe better social worlds as replete with caring, compassion, love, and grace among its inhabitants—not the stated goal of most communication theories.
    3. The theorists claim is that one does not need to be a saint, a genius, or an orator to create a better social worked. The communicator, however, must be mindful.
    4. Mindfulness is a presence or awareness of what participants are making in the midst of their conversation.
    5. For an overall remedy to unsatisfactory or destructive patterns of interaction, CMM theorists advocate dialogue, a specific form of communication that they believe will create a social world where we can live with dignity, honor, joy, and love.
    6. Barnett and Kim Pearce have adopted Jewish philosopher Martin Buber’s perspective on dialogue.
  6. Ethical reflection: Martin Buber’s Dialogic Ethics.
    1. Buber, a German Jewish philosopher, focused his ethical approach on the relationship between people rather than on moral codes of conduct
    2. He contrasted two types of relationships—I-It versus I-Thou.
      1. I-It treats the other person as an object to be manipulated.
      2. I-Thou treats our partner as the very one we are.
    3. For Buber, dialogue is a synonym for ethical communication.
    4. Buber used the image of the narrow ridge to illustrate the tension of dialogic communication.
    5. Duquesne University communication ethicist Ron Arnett notes that “living the narrow ridge philosophy requires a life of personal and interpersonal concern, which is likely to generate a more complicated existence than that of the egoist or the selfless martyr.”
  7. Critique: Highly practical as it moves from confusion to clarity.
    1. By offering such diagnostic tools as the serpentine and LUUUUTT models of communication, CMM promotes a deeper understanding of people and of the social worlds they create through their conversation.
    2. Unlike many theories which seek only to describe communication patterns, CMM theorists and the researchers they inspire make it clear that their aim is to make better social worlds.
    3. Although many objective theorists dismiss CMM because of its social constructionist assumptions, CMM has generated widespread interest and acceptance within the community of interpretive communication scholars.
    4. If changing destructive patterns of communication in whole communities strikes you as a bit of a stretch, you should know that pursuit of this goal is why Barnett and Kim Pearce founded the Public Dialogue Consortium and the CMM Institute.
    5. CMM scholars and practitioners use a wide range of qualitative research methods—textual and narrative analyses, case studies, interviews, participant observation, ethnography, and collaborative action research
    6. The aesthetic standard for an interpretive theory has two components—artistry and clarity. For some who have immersed themselves in CMM literature both Barnett and Kim Pearce’s often poetic language reflects the beauty of the human soul and the world as it could be. Yet for others, lack of clarity is a real problem. 

You can access the Outline for a particular chapter in several ways:

  • Switch to View by Theory, then select the desired theory/chapter from the drop-down list at the top of the page. Look in the list of available resources.
  • To quickly find a theory by chapter number, use the Table of Contents and link from there. It will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.
  • You can also use the Theory List, which will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.

Back to top



The screen on this device is not wide enough to display Theory Resources. Try rotating the device to landscape orientation to see if more options become available.
Resources available to all users:

  • Theory Overview—abstract of each chapter
  • Self-Help Quizzes—for student preparation
  • Chapter Outlines
  • Key Names—important names and terms in each chapter
  • Conversation Videos—interviews with theorists
  • Application Logs—student application of theories
  • Essay Questions—for student prepatation
  • Suggested Movie Clips—tie-in movie scenese to theories
  • Links—web resources related to each chapter
  • Primary Sources—for each theory with full chapter coverage
  • Further Resources—bibliographic and other suggestions
  • Changes—for each theory, since the previous edition
  • Theory Archive—PDF copies from the last edition in which a theory appeared

Resources available only to registered instructors who are logged in:

  • Discussion Suggestions
  • Exercises & Activities
  • PowerPoint® presentations you can use
  • Short Answer Quizzes—suggested questions and answers
  • Compare Texts—comparison of theories covered in A First Look and ten other textbooks

Information for Instructors. Read more


 

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