While reading the article on the ethnography of communication, I discovered the truth in what Griffin and his colleagues pointed out, that most of the speech codes theory is usually concerned with cross-cultural interaction rather than intercultural communication (Griffin et al 2014). This was evident as I joined college where as a freshman l noticed the change in speech code in most of the sophomores I interacted with. Although most of them where from different states in the country and others even from abroad they all talked in language phrases that only them could decipher the meaning behind the phrases.I am not claiming they were not talking English or that you couldnt understand what they were saying but as they spoke especially between themselves there was use of a distinct lingo that was common only to them. As a freshman you end up being mixed up in most of these lingo filled conversation and unknowingly you find that you also learn the ethnography of speech used and you can use it. This adaptation if I might say so took me a whole semester to grasp and by the time l was in my second semester of college l was fluent in the speech code theory used at the college.
Distinct speech code in every culture
I never really put much thought into speech codes theory until I started reading the authors about Griffin and his research on ethnography of communication (Authors et al 2014). The article shone some light on a lot of speech variation that I have encountered in my life time especially on my move to college. Griffin position that wherever there is a distinctive culture, there is to be found a distinctive speech code proved to be true as I reflected on my life in campus(Griffin et al 2014). A college is a distinctive community with its own culture and just like Griffins theory states the college has a distinctive speech code which is only used by students among themselves. If you happen to be visiting from another university or state the students will most probably not include their distinctive speech code in their communication with you. It might seem weird but its like we are all wired to drop the distinctive speech code whenever speaking to a stranger or someone not directly related to the college. The distinct speech code is like a form of identification between the students and a way to celebrate and express psychological speech in the college.
Similarity in speech codes between communities
As a student I had the opportunity to travel to different communities and different colleges. In the course of my travelling I discovered that the speech codes of different communities most of the time is similar to some extent. I also discovered that you could find a speech code phrase that is shared by two or three communities or different speech codes phrases shared between different communities. Griffin and his colleagues pointed out that in any given community; multiple speech codes are deployed (Griffin et al 2014). This explains the similarity of some phrases in speech codes of different communities. Although the speech code is not the same in different communities there are some part of the speech codes that a member of a different community can comprehend since they also use the same phrase in their community.
Speech code used to predict, explain and control the conduct of communication
As I read the author article on Griffins ethnography of communicationI couldnt help but internalize Griffin and his colleague position that the artful use of a shared speech code is a sufficient condition for predicting, explaining, controlling the form of discourse about the intelligibility, prudence and morality of communication conduct (Griffin et al 2014). This position is actually true since when around my classmate while talking, one can predict the course the communication will take. If the course is a destructive one you will notice more than one individual involved in the talk trying to alter the course of the speech into a more harmless one. The speech code creates a way of the individuals involved in it to predict it outcome thus maintaining things civil.
Since I started writing this paper, my view and the reason why Griffins ethnography study interested me is because it will help me reflect on and understand better my learning and life in general. Together with the benefits that comes with the knowledge of writing, ethnography in it sense real highlights as well as emphasizes on human relation in any given surroundings between participants and researchers; among writers and scholars of ethnographic narratives, the same applies to teachers and their students as well, if all goes without any problems then it will be obvious that writing about this topic helps an individual to navigate through different relationships, by this I mean, ethnographic writing can be useful by having important literature that can help many people to be in a position of understanding more the life of others, how they think and talk in depth. By so doing it can be key factor in improving the life of individual from which the literature focused on. At the same time it will be of great help to me as well since it will help me reflect more on the position I am in within the same culture and give me an opportunity to understand them better.
One common lesson that everybody must learn about ethnographic writing is that, in the case the response is good, that, cannot be classified to follow common conventional formula at all like other essays. The unique requirement is that one has to experiment the subject with a lot of keenness, voice, structure, purpose and style unlike other traditional ways done by many scholars. Just to let you understand what am trying to explain, Ill try to use my own experiences through works Ive done before as a teacher and ethnographer writer. You should be able to get an idea from the mixture of analysis found and narratives especially the model employed through non-traditional as well as traditionally used academic writings on the same project.
The most used and common method in ethnography that give effective result by many scholars is participant observation research. Ethnographers in most cases concentrates on studying cultures for instance values presented, relationships, rituals and some habits that influence people in understanding who they are in that particular group or society. This is done by spending recommendable time in that specific culture through ways of interacting with the members, observing their manners of how they talk, relate and cooperate in their daily activities, holding discussions amongst themselves on different topics related to their culture and how they understand their groups and lives within.
Griffin and his colleagues pointed out that in any given community; multiple speech codes are deployed (Griffin et al 2014). This explains the similarity of some phrases in speech codes of different communities. Although the speech code is not the same in different communities there are some part of the speech codes that a member of a different community can comprehend since they also use the same phrase in their community. Griffin position that wherever there is a distinctive culture, there is to be found a distinctive speech code proved to be true as I reflected on my life in campus. Just to summarize ethnographers involves observing reflect, participate, interact within, analyze, rethink, describe cultures in details, write their members chronologically and Putting Ethnographic literature in Context of us participating with them.
Griffin, E., et al. (2014). A First Look at Communication Theory. (Ninth ed.) United States of America: McGraw-Hill
Author et al. (2014). Speech Codes Theory of Gerry Philipsenpg 428-429
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