All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

A field test of equivocation theory: Apologies by Canadian churches to indigenous people
Unformatted Document Text:  7 has reminded us that we act through language, doing things through words. . . . Some activities in fact are only carried out as [speech] acts; apologizing, for example, is not something you can do any other way--you must produce a particular utterance, ‘perform a language activity,’ to apologize. (Kess, 1991, p. 142, emphasis added) Other examples of speech acts include promises, commands, and compliments, but apologies are the prototype of a speech act, of language as social action in itself. It is a social action that can only be done with words and, by corollary, if it is not done in the words, it has not been done. Speech act theory has both cognitive and social possibilities. From a cognitive perspective, language is primarily a medium for representing the speaker’s thoughts and intentions, a means of expression. Notice that the dictionary definition of an apology (“expression of one’s regret”) is implicitly cognitive. However, the acts of speaking or writing are also social because they affect those who hear or read them. The apologizer expresses regret to someone. This speech act affects the relationship between them and may have other social consequences as well. The sociologist Nicholas Tavuchis (1991) expanded on the social nature of an apology, which he called “quintessentially social, that is, a relational symbolic gesture occurring in a complex interpersonal field” (p. 14). Later, he re-emphasized that an apology is a relational concept and practice. . . . It is an externalized speech act whose meaning resides not within the individual (although its effects may), but in a

Authors: Bavelas, Janet.
first   previous   Page 7 of 26   next   last



background image
7
has reminded us that we act through language, doing things through
words. . . . Some activities in fact are only carried out as [speech] acts;
apologizing, for example, is not something you can do any other way--you
must produce a particular utterance, ‘perform a language activity,’ to
apologize. (Kess, 1991, p. 142, emphasis added)
Other examples of speech acts include promises, commands, and compliments, but
apologies are the prototype of a speech act, of language as social action in itself. It is a
social action that can only be done with words and, by corollary, if it is not done in the
words, it has not been done.
Speech act theory has both cognitive and social possibilities. From a cognitive
perspective, language is primarily a medium for representing the speaker’s thoughts
and intentions, a means of expression. Notice that the dictionary definition of an
apology (“expression of one’s regret”) is implicitly cognitive. However, the acts of
speaking or writing are also social because they affect those who hear or read them.
The apologizer expresses regret to someone. This speech act affects the relationship
between them and may have other social consequences as well.
The sociologist Nicholas Tavuchis (1991) expanded on the social nature of an
apology, which he called “quintessentially social, that is, a relational symbolic gesture
occurring in a complex interpersonal field” (p. 14). Later, he re-emphasized that an
apology is
a relational concept and practice. . . . It is an externalized speech act whose
meaning resides not within the individual (although its effects may), but in a


Convention
All Academic Convention can solve the abstract management needs for any association's annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 7 of 26   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.