SELECT AN EDITION:
9th EDITION   10th EDITION   11th EDITION
A First Look at Communication Theory Reveal main menu
 
CHANGE TO View by Theory
Theory Outlines
11th Edition

From the Instructors Manual

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

Chapter 27Co-Cultural Theory


  1. Members of co-cultural groups have less power than members of the dominant culture.
    1. Mark Orbe uses the term co-cultural to refer to marginalized groups of people who are typically labeled as minority, subcultural, subordinate, inferior, or nondominant.
    2. Co-cultural is a neutral term that designates significant differences from the dominant culture, but with no hint of contempt or condemnation.
    3. There are many varied co-cultural groups in the United States, such as women, people of color, the economically disadvantaged, people with physical disabilities, the LGBTQ community, the very old and very young, and religious minorities.
    4. Orbe sees co-cultural theory as an extension of both standpoint theory and muted group theory—two other theories concerned with unequal power.
    5. Orbe thinks it’s important to spend time and effort focusing on co-cultural communication—“communication between dominant group and co-cultural group members from the perspective of co-cultural group members.”
    6. Orbe has found that, to maneuver within the dominant culture and achieve some degree of success, co-cultural group members will adopt one or more specific communication orientations in their everyday interactions.
  1. Communication orientation: What they want and what they say to get it.
    1. Orbe claims there are nine communication orientations that different co-cultural group members adopt when trying to survive and thrive within the dominant group culture.
      1. Communication orientation is the term he uses to describe a co-cultural group member’s preferred outcome pursued through the communication approach they choose to achieve that goal.
      2. The three goals—assimilation, accommodation, separation—describe the preferred outcomes co-cultural members might seek when face-to-face with members of the dominant culture.
      3. The three communication approaches—nonassertive, assertive, aggressive—identify the verbal and nonverbal behavior co-cultural members might use to reach their chosen goal
      4. A three-by-three model (i.e., crossing preferred outcomes with communication approaches) yields nine communication orientations.
    2. Inside each of the nine communication orientation boxes are shorthand descriptors of communicative practices.
      1. These practices summarize the specific verbal and nonverbal actions that co-cultural group members take when interacting with members of the dominant culture.
      2. The cluster of terms labeling the practices in each box reflects how that orientation plays out in actual types of behavior.
    3. As Orbe listened to co-cultural group members talk about their interactions with the dominant culture, their words strongly influenced his recognition and interpretation of the three preferred outcomes, the three communication approaches, and the nine different communication orientations they form.
      1. A nonassertive approach is where “individuals are seemingly inhibited and nonconfrontational while putting the needs of others before their own.”
      2. An aggressive approach is behavior “perceived as hurtfully expressive, self-promoting, and assuming control over the choices of others.”
      3. Orbe pictures the nonassertive and aggressive approaches as anchoring opposite ends of a continuum on which an assertive approach (self-enhancing and expressive behavior that takes into account both self and others’ needs) falls roughly in between.
  1. Assimilation as a preferred outcome of communication.
    1. For co-cultural group members, assimilation means fitting into the dominant culture while at the same time shedding the speech and nonverbal markers of their group.
      1. Nonassertive assimilation: Co-cultural members attempt to meet their own needs as best they can by unobtrusively blending into the dominant society.
        1. Emphasizing commonalities—focusing on similarities; downplaying differences.
        2. Developing positive face—Being graciously attentive and considerate.
        3. Censoring self—Remaining silent to inappropriate or offensive comments.
        4. Averting controversy—Moving conversation away from risky or dangerous areas.
      2. Assertive assimilation: Co-cultural members with this orientation attempt to fit into dominant structures by “playing the game.”
        1. Extensive preparation—Preparing thoroughly prior to interaction.
        2. Overcompensating—Making a conscious and consistent effort to be a “superstar.”
        3. Manipulating stereotypes—Exploiting the dominant image of the group for personal gain.
        4. Bargaining—Making covert or overt arrangements to ignore co-cultural differences.
      3. Aggressive assimilation: This is a single-minded, sometimes belligerent approach, which seeks to be regarded as part of the dominant group and not as members of a co-cultural group.
        1. Dissociating—Trying hard to avoid the typical behavior of one’s co-cultural group.
        2. Mirroring—Adopting dominant communication codes to mask co-cultural identity.
        3. Strategic distancing—Stressing individuality by cutting ties with your own group.
        4. Ridiculing self—Taking part in discourse demeaning to one’s co-cultural group.
  1. Accommodation as a preferred outcome of communication.
    1. Rather than following the other guys’ rules as those trying to assimilate do, co-cultural members who seek accommodation work at changing the rules to take their own life experiences into account.
    2. As out-group members adapt their behavior to become more similar to that of the dominant in-group culture, they gain credibility for advocating at least incremental change.
      1. Nonassertive accommodation: By conforming to the norms of the dominant culture, co-cultural members desire to gain acceptance.
        1. Increasing visibility—Maintaining co-cultural presence within the dominant group.
        2. Dispelling stereotypes—Changing images of the group by just being yourself.
      2. Assertive accommodation: Co-cultural members whose abilities and interpersonal skills are valued work cooperatively within the dominant culture, advocating for the needs of both cultures.
        1. Communicating self—Interacting with the dominant group in an open, genuine manner.
        2. Intragroup networking—Talking with co-cultural people with a shared worldview.
        3. Utilizing liaisons—Seeking support from dominant group members you can trust.
        4. Educating others—Explaining co-cultural norms and values to the dominant group.
      3. Aggressive accommodation: Working within the dominant culture, these co-cultural advocates offer a prophetic voice calling for major transformation of structures and practices that hold co-cultural groups down.
        1. Confronting—Asserting one’s “voice” in a way that may violate others’ rights.
        2. Gaining advantage—Calling out dominant group oppression to get a response.
  1. Separation as a preferred outcome of communication.
    1. The co-cultural group members who desire separation work to create and maintain an identity distinct from the dominant culture.
    2. Separatist speech is akin to what Giles labeled divergent communication (see ch. 25) and is used to accentuate differences between the two cultures.
      1. Nonassertive separation: These co-cultural members have an inherent belief that their lives will be more tolerable when they “stick to their own kind.”
        1. Avoiding—Staying away from places and situations where interaction is likely.
        2. Maintaining personal barriers—Using verbal and nonverbal cues to stay aloof.
      2. Assertive separation: Co-cultural members with this orientation make a strategic decision to remain separate from an oppressive dominant culture.
        1. Exemplifying strengths—Making the group’s strength, success, and contribution known.
        2. Embracing stereotypes—Putting a positive spin on the dominant group’s biases.
      3. Aggressive separation: This is often employed by a powerful co-cultural group leader when segregation from the dominant culture seems imperative.
        1. Attacking—Inflicting psychological pain through personal attack.
        2. Sabotaging others—Undermining the benefits of dominant group membership.
  1. Phenomenology—Tapping into others’ conscious lived experience.
    1. Orbe is convinced that the goals of co-cultural group members and the different styles of communication they adopt are the key factors because he has great confidence in the research method that revealed them—phenomenology.
      1. Phenomenology is a research commitment to focus “on the conscious experience of a person as she or he relates to the lived world.”
      2. Orbe enlisted the help of nearly 100 marginalized people from a variety of co-cultural groups and listened to their stories of interactions with people in the dominant culture.
      3. This inductive type of qualitative research is akin to what Baxter did with relationship partners in developing relational dialectics theory (ch. 11), and how Deetz partnered with corporate employees to form his critical theory of communication in organizations (ch. 24).
    2. It’s a multiple-step process.
      1. First, Orbe invited his co-researchers (his phenomenological term for “participants”) to describe their experiences within the dominant culture, recorded everything they said, and later made a word-for-word transcript.
      2. Next, Orbe pored over this record, looking for repeated words, phrases, or themes that described and gave meaning to their communication.
      3. He conducted this phenomenological interpretation by finding meanings that weren’t immediately apparent in the first two steps.
      4. Through this process, he also identified four other factors that influence how members of co-cultural groups interact with members of the dominant society: Field of experience, situational context, ability, and perceived costs and rewards.
  1. Dominant group theory—an extension of co-cultural theory.
    1. Orbe and Robert Razzante address how dominant group members respond to the communicative practices of co-cultural group members in dominant group theory, which is an extension of Orbe’s co-cultural theory. 
    2. In many ways, dominant group theory (DGT) is the mirror image of his original work.
    3. It takes into account three possible outcomes the dominant group members may want to achieve vis-à-vis the oppressive structures co-cultural members face.
    4. They may want to reinforce the structures (maintain status quo), impede them (resist their spread), or dismantle them (work at systemic change).
    5. They may use the same three communication approaches: nonassertiveness, assertiveness, or aggression.
      1. Nonassertive/Reinforcement: Refusing to recognize one’s own privilege or keeping silent about it.
      2. Assertive/Reinforcement: Downplaying one’s own power and privilege; denying there’s a dominant group culture.
      3. Aggressive/Reinforcement: Blaming the co-cultural group’s plight on members’ lack of responsibility.
      4. Nonassertive/Impediment: Acknowledging social privilege as a member of the dominant group.
      5. Assertive/Impediment: Acknowledging the magnitude of co-cultural issues; modeling care for members of both groups.
      6. Aggressive/Impediment: Confronting oppressive rhetoric as ignorant and hurtful; affirming co-cultural group members.
      7. Nonassertive/Dismantling: Sacrificing self (money, social isolation, arrest) to prioritize the needs of co-cultural group members.
      8. Assertive/Dismantling: As a co-cultural ally, working against systems of privilege; focusing on institutional change.
      9. Aggressive/Dismantling: Pushing one’s own agenda for societal change with little regard for those who are hurt.
    6. Just like co-cultural theory, DGT suggests that the choices dominant group members make are strongly influenced by four factors: field of experience, situational context, ability, and perceived costs and rewards.
    7. Countering one of the original premises of co-cultural theory, DGT recognizes that some dominant group members use their power and privilege to assertively or aggressively challenge society’s oppressive structures instead of reinforcing them.
  1. Critique: An interpretive theory both ambitious and limited.
    1. Mark Orbe uses the criteria set forth in chapter 3 to favorably evaluate his interpretive theory.
    2. His phenomenological methodology is prototypical qualitative research.
    3. To read what his co-cultural researchers said is to gain a new understanding of people who are trying to survive and thrive in a dominant culture created by privileged men who at least tacitly work to maintain the status quo.
    4. Clarity and artistry are the two faces of aesthetic appeal.
      1. As for clarity, it’s hard to see how the four additional factors of field of experience, situational context, ability, and perceived costs and rewards fit into the framework of the theory.
      2. Many of the quotes from co-cultural group members could be viewed as found art.
    5. Orbe’s stated indebtedness to muted group theory and standpoint theory gives co-cultural theory a built-in community of agreement among communication scholars who take a critical approach.
    6. Orbe doesn’t call for reform of society or take on the role of advocate. Co-cultural theory seems descriptive rather than prescriptive.
    7. As for clarification of values, rather than show either pity or scorn for those who are marginalized in the United States, Orbe expresses admiration for how his co-researchers use or don’t use communication in order to cope as outsiders within a dominant culture.


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


Instructors can get
additional resources.
Read more




 OUTLINES


 VIDEOS


 ESSAY






New to Theory
Resources?

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

CHANGE TO View by Theory
Theory Outlines
11th Edition

From the Instructors Manual

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

Chapter 27Co-Cultural Theory


  1. Members of co-cultural groups have less power than members of the dominant culture.
    1. Mark Orbe uses the term co-cultural to refer to marginalized groups of people who are typically labeled as minority, subcultural, subordinate, inferior, or nondominant.
    2. Co-cultural is a neutral term that designates significant differences from the dominant culture, but with no hint of contempt or condemnation.
    3. There are many varied co-cultural groups in the United States, such as women, people of color, the economically disadvantaged, people with physical disabilities, the LGBTQ community, the very old and very young, and religious minorities.
    4. Orbe sees co-cultural theory as an extension of both standpoint theory and muted group theory—two other theories concerned with unequal power.
    5. Orbe thinks it’s important to spend time and effort focusing on co-cultural communication—“communication between dominant group and co-cultural group members from the perspective of co-cultural group members.”
    6. Orbe has found that, to maneuver within the dominant culture and achieve some degree of success, co-cultural group members will adopt one or more specific communication orientations in their everyday interactions.
  1. Communication orientation: What they want and what they say to get it.
    1. Orbe claims there are nine communication orientations that different co-cultural group members adopt when trying to survive and thrive within the dominant group culture.
      1. Communication orientation is the term he uses to describe a co-cultural group member’s preferred outcome pursued through the communication approach they choose to achieve that goal.
      2. The three goals—assimilation, accommodation, separation—describe the preferred outcomes co-cultural members might seek when face-to-face with members of the dominant culture.
      3. The three communication approaches—nonassertive, assertive, aggressive—identify the verbal and nonverbal behavior co-cultural members might use to reach their chosen goal
      4. A three-by-three model (i.e., crossing preferred outcomes with communication approaches) yields nine communication orientations.
    2. Inside each of the nine communication orientation boxes are shorthand descriptors of communicative practices.
      1. These practices summarize the specific verbal and nonverbal actions that co-cultural group members take when interacting with members of the dominant culture.
      2. The cluster of terms labeling the practices in each box reflects how that orientation plays out in actual types of behavior.
    3. As Orbe listened to co-cultural group members talk about their interactions with the dominant culture, their words strongly influenced his recognition and interpretation of the three preferred outcomes, the three communication approaches, and the nine different communication orientations they form.
      1. A nonassertive approach is where “individuals are seemingly inhibited and nonconfrontational while putting the needs of others before their own.”
      2. An aggressive approach is behavior “perceived as hurtfully expressive, self-promoting, and assuming control over the choices of others.”
      3. Orbe pictures the nonassertive and aggressive approaches as anchoring opposite ends of a continuum on which an assertive approach (self-enhancing and expressive behavior that takes into account both self and others’ needs) falls roughly in between.
  1. Assimilation as a preferred outcome of communication.
    1. For co-cultural group members, assimilation means fitting into the dominant culture while at the same time shedding the speech and nonverbal markers of their group.
      1. Nonassertive assimilation: Co-cultural members attempt to meet their own needs as best they can by unobtrusively blending into the dominant society.
        1. Emphasizing commonalities—focusing on similarities; downplaying differences.
        2. Developing positive face—Being graciously attentive and considerate.
        3. Censoring self—Remaining silent to inappropriate or offensive comments.
        4. Averting controversy—Moving conversation away from risky or dangerous areas.
      2. Assertive assimilation: Co-cultural members with this orientation attempt to fit into dominant structures by “playing the game.”
        1. Extensive preparation—Preparing thoroughly prior to interaction.
        2. Overcompensating—Making a conscious and consistent effort to be a “superstar.”
        3. Manipulating stereotypes—Exploiting the dominant image of the group for personal gain.
        4. Bargaining—Making covert or overt arrangements to ignore co-cultural differences.
      3. Aggressive assimilation: This is a single-minded, sometimes belligerent approach, which seeks to be regarded as part of the dominant group and not as members of a co-cultural group.
        1. Dissociating—Trying hard to avoid the typical behavior of one’s co-cultural group.
        2. Mirroring—Adopting dominant communication codes to mask co-cultural identity.
        3. Strategic distancing—Stressing individuality by cutting ties with your own group.
        4. Ridiculing self—Taking part in discourse demeaning to one’s co-cultural group.
  1. Accommodation as a preferred outcome of communication.
    1. Rather than following the other guys’ rules as those trying to assimilate do, co-cultural members who seek accommodation work at changing the rules to take their own life experiences into account.
    2. As out-group members adapt their behavior to become more similar to that of the dominant in-group culture, they gain credibility for advocating at least incremental change.
      1. Nonassertive accommodation: By conforming to the norms of the dominant culture, co-cultural members desire to gain acceptance.
        1. Increasing visibility—Maintaining co-cultural presence within the dominant group.
        2. Dispelling stereotypes—Changing images of the group by just being yourself.
      2. Assertive accommodation: Co-cultural members whose abilities and interpersonal skills are valued work cooperatively within the dominant culture, advocating for the needs of both cultures.
        1. Communicating self—Interacting with the dominant group in an open, genuine manner.
        2. Intragroup networking—Talking with co-cultural people with a shared worldview.
        3. Utilizing liaisons—Seeking support from dominant group members you can trust.
        4. Educating others—Explaining co-cultural norms and values to the dominant group.
      3. Aggressive accommodation: Working within the dominant culture, these co-cultural advocates offer a prophetic voice calling for major transformation of structures and practices that hold co-cultural groups down.
        1. Confronting—Asserting one’s “voice” in a way that may violate others’ rights.
        2. Gaining advantage—Calling out dominant group oppression to get a response.
  1. Separation as a preferred outcome of communication.
    1. The co-cultural group members who desire separation work to create and maintain an identity distinct from the dominant culture.
    2. Separatist speech is akin to what Giles labeled divergent communication (see ch. 25) and is used to accentuate differences between the two cultures.
      1. Nonassertive separation: These co-cultural members have an inherent belief that their lives will be more tolerable when they “stick to their own kind.”
        1. Avoiding—Staying away from places and situations where interaction is likely.
        2. Maintaining personal barriers—Using verbal and nonverbal cues to stay aloof.
      2. Assertive separation: Co-cultural members with this orientation make a strategic decision to remain separate from an oppressive dominant culture.
        1. Exemplifying strengths—Making the group’s strength, success, and contribution known.
        2. Embracing stereotypes—Putting a positive spin on the dominant group’s biases.
      3. Aggressive separation: This is often employed by a powerful co-cultural group leader when segregation from the dominant culture seems imperative.
        1. Attacking—Inflicting psychological pain through personal attack.
        2. Sabotaging others—Undermining the benefits of dominant group membership.
  1. Phenomenology—Tapping into others’ conscious lived experience.
    1. Orbe is convinced that the goals of co-cultural group members and the different styles of communication they adopt are the key factors because he has great confidence in the research method that revealed them—phenomenology.
      1. Phenomenology is a research commitment to focus “on the conscious experience of a person as she or he relates to the lived world.”
      2. Orbe enlisted the help of nearly 100 marginalized people from a variety of co-cultural groups and listened to their stories of interactions with people in the dominant culture.
      3. This inductive type of qualitative research is akin to what Baxter did with relationship partners in developing relational dialectics theory (ch. 11), and how Deetz partnered with corporate employees to form his critical theory of communication in organizations (ch. 24).
    2. It’s a multiple-step process.
      1. First, Orbe invited his co-researchers (his phenomenological term for “participants”) to describe their experiences within the dominant culture, recorded everything they said, and later made a word-for-word transcript.
      2. Next, Orbe pored over this record, looking for repeated words, phrases, or themes that described and gave meaning to their communication.
      3. He conducted this phenomenological interpretation by finding meanings that weren’t immediately apparent in the first two steps.
      4. Through this process, he also identified four other factors that influence how members of co-cultural groups interact with members of the dominant society: Field of experience, situational context, ability, and perceived costs and rewards.
  1. Dominant group theory—an extension of co-cultural theory.
    1. Orbe and Robert Razzante address how dominant group members respond to the communicative practices of co-cultural group members in dominant group theory, which is an extension of Orbe’s co-cultural theory. 
    2. In many ways, dominant group theory (DGT) is the mirror image of his original work.
    3. It takes into account three possible outcomes the dominant group members may want to achieve vis-à-vis the oppressive structures co-cultural members face.
    4. They may want to reinforce the structures (maintain status quo), impede them (resist their spread), or dismantle them (work at systemic change).
    5. They may use the same three communication approaches: nonassertiveness, assertiveness, or aggression.
      1. Nonassertive/Reinforcement: Refusing to recognize one’s own privilege or keeping silent about it.
      2. Assertive/Reinforcement: Downplaying one’s own power and privilege; denying there’s a dominant group culture.
      3. Aggressive/Reinforcement: Blaming the co-cultural group’s plight on members’ lack of responsibility.
      4. Nonassertive/Impediment: Acknowledging social privilege as a member of the dominant group.
      5. Assertive/Impediment: Acknowledging the magnitude of co-cultural issues; modeling care for members of both groups.
      6. Aggressive/Impediment: Confronting oppressive rhetoric as ignorant and hurtful; affirming co-cultural group members.
      7. Nonassertive/Dismantling: Sacrificing self (money, social isolation, arrest) to prioritize the needs of co-cultural group members.
      8. Assertive/Dismantling: As a co-cultural ally, working against systems of privilege; focusing on institutional change.
      9. Aggressive/Dismantling: Pushing one’s own agenda for societal change with little regard for those who are hurt.
    6. Just like co-cultural theory, DGT suggests that the choices dominant group members make are strongly influenced by four factors: field of experience, situational context, ability, and perceived costs and rewards.
    7. Countering one of the original premises of co-cultural theory, DGT recognizes that some dominant group members use their power and privilege to assertively or aggressively challenge society’s oppressive structures instead of reinforcing them.
  1. Critique: An interpretive theory both ambitious and limited.
    1. Mark Orbe uses the criteria set forth in chapter 3 to favorably evaluate his interpretive theory.
    2. His phenomenological methodology is prototypical qualitative research.
    3. To read what his co-cultural researchers said is to gain a new understanding of people who are trying to survive and thrive in a dominant culture created by privileged men who at least tacitly work to maintain the status quo.
    4. Clarity and artistry are the two faces of aesthetic appeal.
      1. As for clarity, it’s hard to see how the four additional factors of field of experience, situational context, ability, and perceived costs and rewards fit into the framework of the theory.
      2. Many of the quotes from co-cultural group members could be viewed as found art.
    5. Orbe’s stated indebtedness to muted group theory and standpoint theory gives co-cultural theory a built-in community of agreement among communication scholars who take a critical approach.
    6. Orbe doesn’t call for reform of society or take on the role of advocate. Co-cultural theory seems descriptive rather than prescriptive.
    7. As for clarification of values, rather than show either pity or scorn for those who are marginalized in the United States, Orbe expresses admiration for how his co-researchers use or don’t use communication in order to cope as outsiders within a dominant culture.


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:

  • Text Comparison—theories covered in A First Look and ten other textbooks
  • 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

Information for Instructors. Read more


 

Copyright © Em Griffin 2022 | Web design by Graphic Impact