Refusal to Communicate as a Positive and Negative Communication Strategy Cover Image

Refusal to Communicate as a Positive and Negative Communication Strategy
Refusal to Communicate as a Positive and Negative Communication Strategy

Author(s): Marianna Gulyaeva, Olga Leontovich
Subject(s): Communication studies
Published by: Masarykova univerzita
Keywords: refusal to communicate; “zero communication”; positive and negative strategies; verbal and non-verbal forms of expression; outcome of interaction;

Summary/Abstract: The paper has an overall focus on the refusal to communicate, which naïve language users would often interpret as “zero communication”. This aspect of human interaction has not yet been thoroughly investigated, which accounts for the novelty of the research. The paper analyses reasons for the refusal to communicate, its types, strategies, positive and negative effects, as well as verbal and nonverbal ways of its expression. The study uses a mixed-method research design based on observation, discourse analysis and method of introspection. The material of the research includes 389 acts of refusal to communicate selected from real-life or Internet conversations, fiction of the late 20th – early 21st centuries, and films in English and in Russian. All the communicative acts are investigated along the following lines: a) reasons; b) types; c) communication strategies; d) functions and e) forms of linguistic expression of refusal to communicate. We identify regularities and classify our data within each of the devised categories. The paper argues that refusal to communicate, which in fact manifests the intention to terminate communication, is part and parcel of human interaction possessing strong pragmatic, functional and emotional value. Though it is generally seen as a negative communication strategy, this study shows that under certain circumstances it can also have a positive effect on the outcome of interaction.

  • Issue Year: 11/2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 52-66
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English