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The concept of reciprocity - Term Paper Example

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The concept of reciprocity

Now let us look closely at what happens when two people speak. The speaker has a message which he encodes and transmits to the listener through speech. The listener listens to the speech and decodes the message. The listener then responds in the same way, by transmitting a message. Hence, the speaker becomes the listener and vice versa. An individual takes turns at being a speaker and a listener alternately. This is called ‘turn taking’. In a speech event, the participants are face-to-face and the turn-taking is a continuous process. Hence, we see that casual conversations are also organized by rules. People take turns at speaking and listening, they answer questions, mark the beginning and end of a conversation, make mistakes and correct themselves. All this needs some kind of direction and control on the part of the speakers. People do not say –I have finished now. You can answer my question.Conversations are organized covertly and the organizational principles provide a discreet interactional framework. It is within this framework that reciprocity takes place. “Reciprocity develops during the ongoing negotiation of meaning between speaker and listener, thus producing a joint construction of communication.” ( Byrne D., 1987 ) Reciprocity involves the use of turn-taking skills, strategies to interrupt and to control the topic, which is necessary to maintain meaningful interaction. During conversations, individuals follow norms like politeness principles and co-operative principles. ...Show more


The author of this paper "The concept of reciprocity" explores the meaning of the reciprocity concept. It is stated that in a speech situation when a speaker puts across his message, the hearer listens to it and signals that he has heard it…
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The concept of reciprocity essay example
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