An Anthropology of Indirect Communication (A.S.a. by Joy Hendry

By Joy Hendry

Occasionally we exhibit what we suggest now not via what we are saying yet through what we do. this kind of oblique verbal exchange is usually referred to as 'indirection'. From patent miscommunication, via effective ambiguity to pregnant silence this incisive assortment examines from a unprecedented anthropological standpoint the various facets of oblique verbal exchange. From a Mormon subject Park to carnival time on Montserrat the members examine indirection by way of illustrating how meals, silence, sun shades, martial arts and rudeness name represent robust methods of conveying that means. An Anthropology of oblique communique is a fascinating textual content which supplies a tough advent to this topic.

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Example text

In short, Doris and Sid were almost certain that they could continue to maintain order in their worlds, even amid a crowd of ‘outsiders’, but they were also afraid that they might one day find out they were wrong. By engaging in routine interactions as fellow-adults, exchanging words and actions which were indeed so familiar that they could be taken in brevito, even interrupted with ease, Doris and Sid assisted one another in keeping this day well distant. And by regularly coming together and helping fulfil one another’s expectations, they succeeded in keeping their worlds – even as ‘fellow-locals’ – very much apart.

There was absolute silence. You could have heard a fish-hook drop. ’ I said. At which point the group turned and shuffled off, visibly embarrassed. I have thought about this episode long and hard on both personal and anthropological grounds. In point of fact I am not much inclined publicly to declare myself a coward. I too have been socialised in what is probably a pretty common form of male dissimulation. Clearly, however, I had adopted a rather particular cultural idiom for my dissimulation, call it ‘British’, call it ‘Australian’, call it some combination of both – national names are, after all, only labels for cultural habits that come from somewhere.

On reflection (and I had not previously much reflected on the matter), I guess that my willingness verbally to admit to fear, in fact verbally to emphasise my fearfulness, rested on an unstated logic to the effect that if you get in first, then no one can follow; that if you accuse yourself of cowardice, then no one else can call you a coward – because, by some peculiar imputation of modesty, the admission of cowardice amounts to an assertion of fearlessness. And if this all sounds like so much sloppy introspection, the fact On the ontological status of honour 37 remains that in a Greek village what I said did not work.

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