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Journalism & Communication
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Interactional Theory in Gandhi (1982): Communication Strategies for Political and Social Changes Name University 22 April 2013 An eye for an eye is the norm in handling conflicts. In the British colonies, conflicts could not be avoided because local people and leaders were increasingly calling for independence, especially in light of racial inequality and oppression from colonial leaders.


To understand his life, Attenborough (1982) produced and directed Gandhi. This paper analyzes the film using Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson’s (1967) Interactional Theory on communication. It aims to show that this theory helps explain Gandhi’s effectiveness as a persuasive communication expert and social transformation leader. Gandhi demonstrates an interactional view of communication because Gandhi used non-violent, non-cooperative, and peaceful communication strategies, which have been successful in attaining individual and social changes because he continuously reframed punctuations regarding the causes and resolutions to conflict. Gandhi depicts the rise of Gandhi, from being a lawyer of racial injustice in South Africa to a transformational leader in India. Attenborough (1982) showed how Gandhi started his non-violent approach to conflict management, when he realized the intensity and extent of racial discrimination against Indians in South Africa. With his friend and supporter, the rich Indian businessman Kinnoch, they and their thousands of supporters defied the Pass Law and other oppressive policies, until they changed legislation into one that improved racial equality. Gandhi returned to India, which was in a historical transition from colonial ownership to independence. ...
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