Point 1) Linguistic Relativity

The linguistic theory in a nutshell states that the structure of a language shapes or limits the ways in which a speaker forms conceptions of the world.  A recurring theme in life today is when people speak the language they want, it controls how they think.  The theory of linguistic relativity was a theory that I had already studied in COMM 250, known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, so I wanted to dig deeper through this theory.  I came across an article by Lera Boroditsky, and she pointed out that languages are human creations, tools we invent and hone in on to suit our needs and desires.  She implied that to demonstrate the casual role of language, what’s needed are studies that directly manipulate language and look for effects in cognition.  I found that very interesting because that has been one of our societies key advances in recent years.  I believe that language facilitates how certain people comprehend the world today.  Language is so essential in many things; it would too hard to make a list of all the things language influences.  I don’t use many similes in my writing or language style, but I’ll throw one out there for the heck of it…language is like a compass, pointing an individual into the direction they want to go.  After reading through the text, I have a much higher standard for language than I ever did.  One question has risen into my mind:  If all people can use this language that help them perceive the world, then how much tension do people put on their gut feelings and emotions to make decisions in their daily lives?

Point 2) Framing

The framing theory suggests how something is presented, which influences the choices people make in their everyday lives.  In this chapter, we are seeing the effect of the power of language.  In regards to the framing theory, language is essential because language evokes frames.  After reading the text and researching the theory, it seems that framing is inescapable in communication.  Additionally, framing is encountered in many popular topics.  Framing is encountered in the media as events are presented in certain ways.  Framing is also found in a political sense, as politicians either in office or running for office, try to characterize events as one thing or another.  The situation that I can really relate to is framing within negotiations in businesses.  In this example, framing occurs when one side tries to move the other toward a desired outcome.  What I found most interesting regarding the framing theory was George Latkoff’s four morals to understand how to cope with framing.

Moral 1:  Every word evokes a frame

Moral 2:  Words defined within a frame evoke the frame.

Moral 3:  Negating a frame evokes the frame.

Moral 4:  Evoking a frame reinforces the frame.

This could possibly be a dumb question because it was highlighted in the text so much.  It might not make sense, but metaphorically speaking, could dependency be framing’s brother?  Meaning, can framing possibly die without dependency?

A cartoon image description of framing….

Point 3) Muted Group Theory

The muted group theory describes why certain societal groups are not heard.  The way females are constructed differently makes them act in a different way than males do.  This difference portrays women as the “muted groups” because they are thought of as lower in status than the male dominant groups.  If a woman feels muted, then they will change the way they act and talk in order to be heard.  In our society today, there are many groups that feel muted because of their gender, race, ethnicity, and culture.  Those people should not change who they are in order to be heard.  They all should stand up for themselves and protest and be heard as a unit.  The first aspects of the muted group theory were constructed by Edwin Ardener, but the theory was adapted later by Cheris Kramarae.  I researched Kramarae’s work and found a quote that I would like to expand upon.  She stated, “Men and women speak a different language.  According to popular belief, at least, the speech of women is weaker and less effective than the speech of men.  Our culture has many jokes about the quality of women’s speech…Compared to male speech, the female form is supposed to be emotional, vague, euphemistic, sweetly proper, mindless, endless, high-pitches, and silly” (Kramarae).  Women don’t speak the same language as men?  I disagree.  Women have the capability to prove anyone wrong and to prove anything to be correct.  My girlfriend is a prime example.  She might be a feminine gender style in a way that she’s not confident about what she’s about to do, whether it be work or school.  However, she always seems to come through, and seems to come through against the male species.  She realizes but doesn’t accept that our world is mostly male dominant, but through her toughness, she’s able to pull through in her business.  Would men ever want to share their dominance and bring women into their position in the workplace?  A betting person would say no because men are so comfortable in this society today.