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Conceptualizing Compassion in Communication for Communication

Emotional Experience in Islamic Sermons (Bengali waʿz mahfils)

Max Stille

This article argues that conceptual change can be brought about and shaped by communication practice by approaching emotional experience in a particular strand of Islamic sermons from contemporary Bangladesh. It utilizes an extended rhetorical analysis, pertaining to the intertwining of concepts to be communicated, concepts of communication, and performance patterns of the sermons. It argues that by the juncture of narrative techniques of immediacy and momentarization with a bodily grounding of the voice, the listeners and preacher jointly reach the self-affection of the bodily and salvific emotions of (com)passion. From this perspective, the role of rhetorical practice is not limited to an ex post facto translation of conceptual change into practice; instead, the rhetorical goal of self-affection turns out to be an active factor in shaping concepts decisive for contemporary Islamic religiosity.

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Environmental Sustainability as Indicator of Social Quality

The New Opportunities Offered by Communication

Renato Fontana and Martina Ferrucci

Compared to the European scenario that emerged from the analysis of Eurobarometer (2011–2014) surveys, we conducted a research on the opinions of the Italian students and professionals from eight focus groups about the relation between environmental issues, social quality and communication. The assumption is that communication is a strategic factor that could contribute to determining the social quality and, consequently, the satisfaction of the common people. The study demonstrates that it is necessary to plan well-thought-out communication activities aimed at increasing awareness of environmental issues. Findings from this study support the need to develop a greater awareness and a renewed critical consciousness of the relationships between person, environment and social quality.

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'Where Is Your “F”?'

Psychological Testing, Communication and Identity Formation in a Multinational Corporation

Sigrid Damman

The article is based on multi-sited fieldwork in a multinational corporation, where psychological tests were used extensively to facilitate communication and human resource development. The analysis indicates that the test effects were more complex than intended. Their application may be considered as a form of audit that was both individualizing and totalizing. While socio-cultural negotiations reached a level with new common reference points, attention was diverted away from important aspects of the socio-cultural context. Individuals were quick to struggle and assert themselves through the categories of the tests, but at the same time the room for diverse, independent articulations of identity at work seemed to be diminishing. In other words, the application of the tests may have opened some discursive fields, but narrowed others, thus contributing to a form of generification (Errington and Gewertz 2001) and entification (Zubiri 1984) of work identities. These observations give reason to question and continue exploring the effects of psychological typologies in corporate settings.

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Paul Sutton

The communicative relationship between learners and teachers in higher education, particularly as manifested in assessment and feedback, is often problematic. I begin from an Academic Literacies approach that positions academic literacy as requiring learners to acquire a complex set of literacy skills and abilities within specific discursive and institutional contexts. Whilst acknowledging the institutional dimension of academic literacy, I argue that the Academic Literacies approach tends to underestimate its significance. This shortcoming can be addressed by considering student speaking and writing as powerfully constrained by what Bourdieu refers to as the authority of pedagogic institutions, which function in what Sennett calls the culture of the new capitalism. Synthesising Bourdieu and Sennett, I argue, opens up possibilities for creating a pedagogy for itself: a pedagogy conscious of its reproductive function but able to provide both learners and teachers with what Canaan terms critical hope. Through this theoretical synthesis I seek to re-craft the Academic Literacies approach to pedagogic communication so that our understanding of the problems experienced by learners in acquiring academic literacy can be enhanced.

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Between the Lines

Communication with People with Dementia in Creative Movement Sessions

Elisabeth Zeindlinger

This article explores the various ways of communicating with people with dementia during dance sessions and how creative movement can support people to create meaning in the moment. The following did not originate in conventional research but is a reflection on my work as a dancer in healthcare. I took notes about my observations for my own development. After some time I felt the need to dig deeper and search for theories affiliated to my thoughts and find out more about dementia.

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Kathleen Wider

In this paper I examine the role of emotions in the initial development of self-awareness through intersubjective communication between mother and infant. I argue that the empirical evidence suggests that the infant's ability to communicate is initially an ability of the infant to share emotions with the mother. In section one I examine the biological foundations that allow infants from birth to interact with others of their own kind, focusing on the abilities which allow them to engage in emotional relationships with others. These include an infant's ability to express, share, and regulate emotions as well as her brain's ability to imitate the neuronal activity of another. In section two, I explore the fit between Sartre's phenomenologically-based account of intersubjectivity in Being and Nothingness and the accounts from psychology and neuroscience that I've examined in section one, focusing on his phenomenology of the Look and the emotional response he claims it elicits. In section three I examine the explanatory gap objection that Sartre among others could raise to my attempt to understand phenomenological accounts of human reality and scientific ones in light of each other. I don't have any final answer to this objection, but I offer some thoughts on why I think it's less of a problem than it might first appear to be.

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The "Ambulant In-between"

Media Histories of Mobile Communication

Regine Buschauer

The essay delineates a multi-layered approach to a media history of mobile telecommunication. Whilst contemporary media such as the digital mobile phone are often seen as a recent “mobilization“ of media, the dual aim of the essay is to both historicize and theorize mobile communication media, focusing on their past and present configurations at the junction of media and mobility. Historically these configurations are discussed in regard to the early history of wireless, to the cell phone, and to Citizens' Band (CB) radio as well as to relations between mobilities of transportation and media within the history of telecommunication. Today's mobile media are thus traced back to a heterogenous historical landscape of mobile “media in transition“ (W. Uricchio). Theoretically mobile communication is discussed in its multiple and basically ambiguous mobility that shifts and broadens the notion of the “mobile.“ The term “ambulant,“ referring to something “not fixed,“ is used to mark this shift and is brought into play as a heuristical concept that allows us critically to rethink notions of mobility from a historical and media-related point of view.

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La Police de l'Air

Amateur Radio and the Politics of Aural Surveillance in France, 1921-1940

Derek W. Vaillant

As France wrestles over the uses and societal impact of digital media and the Internet, it is instructive to recall another era of communications innovation, namely the introduction of interwar radio to the French public, and the government's reaction to controversial applications by the citizenry. Recent scholarship has underscored the importance of interwar radio broadcasting to France and its territories. Less explored, however, is the work of amateur user/developers who shaped the radio medium as an instrument of speaking, as well as listening. Determined to manage applications of radio, the French Interior Ministry formed a Police de l'Air to monitor France's airwaves, including the activities of amateur radio users (i.e., hams), whose lawful (and sometimes unlawful) use of point-to-point and broadcast communication had begun to significantly disrupt the government's effort to dictate the future forms and uses of radio. Against a backdrop of political crisis and attempts to manage print and electronic communication and dissent, the skirmishes between the Police de l'Air and amateur radio users reveal historical aspects of contemporary debates over use, access, and qualifications to speak and be heard in mediated cultural and political settings.

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Anna Giaufret

The analysis of language in French comics has usually been carried out on questions such as variation (especially diastratic and diatopic), focusing on lexical and syntactical elements, but seldom has the question of communication rules been dealt with, despite the fact that these are paramount in the comical effects achieved by some bandes dessinées. We will therefore carry out our analysis by examining how it is possible to explain the achievement of such comical effects through the in-depth deconstruction of the functioning of communication rules, more precisely their apparent malfunctioning when two different communities of speakers are forced to interact: Corsicans and Pinzuti (the Corsican name for non-Corsicans).

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Andy Leak

Much has been written about Sartre’s views on artistic creativity as communication, but it has less often been remarked that the potential for not-communicating was inscribed from the outset within his theorisation of creation. This article is an exploration of those two apparent opposites, using the psychoanalytic theory of D.W. Winnicott as a counterpoint.