The Importance of understanding Context in communication

The Importance of understanding Context in communication

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For millennia,organisms from all on planet earth have relied on communication not only as a means of survival but as a tool to facilitate biological evolution, nevertheless as an ongoing phenomenon what does this process entail,and how is this process affected by varying contexts? It is however as a consequence of this veracity that in this discussion I will be providing an in depth analyses regarding what factors are of the greatest necessity if this process aims to be successful. In addition to this I will also be discussing the role of context and its impact on the communication process with regard to social, physical and cultural facilitation’s. I will then conclude discussion with my opinion regarding this process of assimilation.

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What is Communication

The act or instigation of communication refers to the process where two people take part in a ?two ?way? physical or verbal exchange in the hopes of reaching mutual understanding. This process involves participants not only exchanging information, news and ideas but the sharing of feelings regarding wide-ranging phenomena in addition to certain goals and values, communication is however in addition to this actuality a means of connecting people or places. Through the use of words and sounds the speaker consciously discards a large amount of information in the hope that it may be correctly interpreted by the receiver.

What is context?

Context also known as the communal condition of an environment refers to a process which involves the evaluation of information that will have an effect on the probability of success regarding the communication process, it is as a result of this fact that effective communication depends on the mass of common shared knowledge between various people. In order for a one to understand a unit of communication on a technical level they need to understand the process regarding the outcome of the transmission with consideration upon wither it was understood by the receiver. An example of applied contextual situations can be noted through how ones mannerisms change when in their work environment in comparison to a night out with either friends or family. There are however five different forms of existing context today (Louw and Cilliers 2014, p.22).

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Physical context

The physical context is a term used to refer to the general ecological conditions of a particular environment where the communication process takes place. These particular areas can however come in the form of classrooms, public parks, an office in addition to restaurants(Louw and Cilliers 2014,p.22). Physical context involves the examination of how not only specific regions but temperature and weather affect the context of messages during the process of communication. In order for a individual to become an effective communicator it is essential that a person learn what types of statements are acceptable in specific ecological conditions. Nevertheless the physical context aids individuals distinguish which messages are appropriate in different environments. An example of this can be noted if a person were to go have a job interview in a park for an employment position in the business sector. This would definitely have an impact on the sharing of information between the two people with regard to the seriousness of the position.

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Social Context

The social context on the other hand, refers to the general environment or circumstances that the communal framework of interpersonal and individual behaviour take place . Moreover, the social context refers to the temperament regarding the relationship an individual has with other people. A crucial facet of the social context is the status relationships have amongst various people. As a result of this actuality the social context means that people usually change the way they communicate in accordance to the proclaimed status of the person whom they are engaging with. Furthermore the roles individuals play, general society normalities, cultural values and customs all affect the way various people communicate and engage with each other, this itinerary is known as social context. Furthermore the ?social context? theory has a social psychological orientation that is used to identify not only societal structures but instances of socialisation within the prescribed living environment (Earle n.d, p.3).An example of how social context could have an effect on meaning in the workplace could be if an individual is flirting with their employer, this would be known as an irregularity in accordance to the social contextual shared meaning within a working environment.

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Cultural context

In order for an individual to understand what the cultural context involves with regard to how it affects communication between people it is essential that they ask themselves the question, what is culture ?Culture refers to the set of values, attitudes, beliefs and views that are integrated within our core principals.These characteristics not only influence the way we think but the way we view the world. Moreover ?culture? as a tool of assimilation affects our communication habits as well as personal preferences with regard to desires, needs and wants. Nevertheless, it as a result of this all encompassing actuality that miscommunication occurs so regularly within not only working but social environments. As a result of this fact the cultural context can affect the sharing of meaning in not only the work place but almost all the other forms of context. An example of this can be noted through observation Western African countries, who have several restrictions with regard to how women are allowed to articulate themselves in public. Nevertheless, this actuality can affect a variety of factors in the workplace with regard to ones daily occupational duties, if they work in a profession where they are required to speak loudly For example if it is your responsibility to tell your fellow colleagues orders in a professional kitchen as a result of one?s cultural obligations you may not be able to perform in that particular desired occupation.

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Hence fourth in conclusion it is my personal belief that in order for a individual to become a effective communicator they need to be able to distinguish which types of conversation are acceptable in specific types of social conditioning. If a person is able to grasp and understand these forms of context they will be able to master all forms of not only verbal but physical exchanges of information.

Reference list

Du Plooy-Cilliers, F, and M Louw. Let?s Talk About Interpersonal Communication. 1st ed. Cape Town [South Africa]: Pearson Education, 2014. Print.

Earle, Leon, and Tony Earle. ?Social Context Theory?. Journal of Psychology 11.2 1?12. Print.

Noordquist, Richard. ?What Is A Verbal Paradox??. ThoughtCo. N.p., 2017. Web. 6 Apr. 2017.


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