CMM Theory Explanation Since the late 1970's, a communication theory, Coordinated Management of Meaning, has been developing. W. Barnett Pearce and Vernon Cronen were the two people responsible. Their purpose was to explain that CMM is a rules based approach to bring understanding and reality to an interaction. They illustrated that in order to understand communication we had to look at it from the participant's point of view (Jensen, 2000). I have applied the concept of CMM Theory to the movie "Meet the Parents" to achieve a better understanding and illustrate the different aspects of this theory.
In an interaction, CMM relies on coherence, coordination and mystery (Griffin, 1997). These steps allow us to further understand how we create realities out of our interactions. The first step in conversation is coherence.
Coherence describes how meaning is achieved in an interaction. When entering a conversation we have certain expectations.
We look to the hierarchy of meaning to make sense of the interaction. We begin with content (Griffin, 1997).
The content is basically the raw data or the words. For example, we may say, "You are a geek." The actual words in that phrase are the content. Although we know what each word means we still do not know how we are going to interpret the statement. In order to construct meaning out of these words we go to the next level, speech act (Wood, 2000).
Speech acts are the context of the content. This is how we decide how to interpret what is being said to us. For example, if you and your friend are joking around and he says, "You are a geek," while laughing, you are most likely to interpret that as being friendly. On the other hand, if a bully at school says the same thing...