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Advances in Intergroup Communication

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Edited By Howard Giles and Anne Maass

Advances in Intergroup Communication is a timely contribution to the field. It reflects developments in older, more established intergroup settings (e.g., gender, sexual orientation, organizations) whilst introducing newer studies such as the military and political parties. It also pays attention to emerging trends in new media and social networks and considers the developing field of neuroscience of communication.
The volume brings together authors from different geographical areas (North America, Europe, and Australia) and from different disciplines (particularly communication, linguistics, and psychology). Contributions are organized around five themes, corresponding to the five sections of the book: defining features and constraints; tools of intergroup communication; social groups in their context; intergroup communication in organizations; and future directions.
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Chapter Nineteen: Social Networks and Intergroup Communication

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← 316 | 317 →CHAPTER NINETEEN

Social Networks and Intergroup Communication

CYNTHIA STOHL, HOWARD GILES, AND ANNE MAASS

 

This volume illustrates the dynamic and multifarious development of intergroup communication research, which crosses disciplinary boundaries while, to some extent, maintaining a common theoretical ground. In this last section of the book, dedicated to future developments, we have already seen important proposals for a future research agenda in the previous two chapters: Ehala and co-authors have proposed a classification system of intergroup settings to predict the type and quality of likely communication, whereas Clément and co-authors have made a strong argument for the use of neuroscience methods to gain access to as yet unknown mechanisms of intergroup communication.

In this last chapter, we will outline a third way to extend intergroup communication research, namely, by bridging it with a network analysis, both theoretically and methodologically. Our analysis starts from the assumption that intergroup communication in real life is much more complex than any single line of research would suggest. It involves multiple channels that operate simultaneously, including language (see Hegart et al.; Gabriel & Gygax; Haslam et al., this volume), paralinguistic and nonverbal cues such as gaze (Castelli & Galfano, this volume), and motion and symbols (Fasoli et al., this volume). It involves multiple actors of distinct social categories who are part of a mutual feedback system. To complicate things further, each actor is part of multiple social networks (e.g., friends, family, neighborhood,...

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