chapter FOUR

Level III: Systems in Control of Speech

Ultimate conversational power rests not in individuals but in the systems they create and deploy to control speech behavior. This is Level III of the structural dynamics model in Figure 1.1. (For “system” you might also think loosely of the phrases “governance pattern” or “authority paradigm.”) This level is the third and last we will need to create a behavioral profile.

Please remember that in continuing to focus on speech behavior, we neither ignore nor downgrade the importance of physical action and nonverbal behavior. We focus on speech behavior because that helps us lay out the theory of face-to-face communication as simply as possible.

Even if their formal learning about systems is minimal, ...

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