The Communication Accommodation Theory Of Speech Essay

1502 Words Aug 19th, 2015 7 Pages
The Communication Accommodation Theory is a theory of speech, which entails that "when people interact they adjust their speech, their vocal patterns and their gestures, to accommodate to others". Developed by Howard Giles, the theory explores the reasons as to why individuals accentuate and understate the social variations between themselves and others, both verbally and nonverbally in various situations. The theory accommodates 2 different forms of interaction between individuals; ‘convergence’ and ‘divergence’. Convergence refers to the process in which people adjust their speech to conform to the individuals they are interacting with, whereas divergence contradicts this. This method of adaptation exposes the social and nonverbal differences between individuals. Like all communication theories, the Communication Accommodation theory presents various strengths and weaknesses. Positively, the theory is simple to understand, expansive/open for interpretation and is supported by detailed research. The theory can also be applied to any situation involving communication. On the other hand, scholars question the theories reliability to relate in every situation, claiming that human interaction and conversation is too complex to be explained simply using Communication Accommodation and the ‘convergence divergence frame’. It is also argued that the theory is too heavily reliant on rational forms of communication. In relation to many cultural groups, these advantages and…

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