Interpersonal Communication Styles Examined in My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Interpersonal Communication Styles Examined in My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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Throughout the semester, we have been introduced to many topics related to interpersonal communication. I have come to believe that these concepts have allowed me to better understand interactions that occur in our daily lives. My knowledge of these concepts was challenged when asked to relate these notions to a movie. During the time that I was watching the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I realized myself grasping onto what was going on and being able to relate certain scenes and situations to topics I had previously learned about. Interactions in My Big Fat Greek Wedding display concepts of conflict and politeness theory, which can be pointed out in a few specific scenes.
During the movie, I found that these concepts that were taught in class helped me better understand and relate to certain clips of the movie. Throughout the rest of the paper, I will be going into a bit more detail about exactly what these concepts are and mean, following that I will be giving examples from the movie that demonstrate the concepts of conflict and politeness theory.

The movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding is about a 30-year old and single woman named Toula Portokalos who although has lived a very Greek life-style up to this point, decides to pursue a relationship with a non-Greek man. This, of course, is disturbing to her family since they are so proud about their culture, and do not really know anything different. Her whole life, Toula has been instilled with a very traditional Greek outlook on life. She has been expected to do three things: Marry a Greek boy, make Greek babies, and feed everyone until the day they die. Throughout the movie, Toula overcomes inner struggles to find her own identity, and she overcomes struggles with her family.

The first topic that is found in the movie that was taught in class is conflict. Conflict is expressed disagreement over perceived incompatible goals. Although it may seem it, conflict is not always a negative thing. Conflict is needed and can help growth of relationships. Many conflicts are started because people have different conversational styles. In class, we learned that there are guidelines that one should follow in order to help prevent conflict or help solve it. The guidelines include clarifying goals, helping others save face, using constructive criticism skills, using empathic listening skills, monitoring nonverbal be...


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...er try to think of a way to ask her father. They decide to make him think that he has come up with the idea. Toula?s mother could have flat out said that Toula wanted to work at the travel agency, but she instead decides to save his ?face?. She basically decides to ask him in an off-record way. It could be said that the mother manipulates the father in a very clever way, which was probably a good way to handle the situation. If she would have just asked him bald on record, or with some redress, about Toula working at the agency it may have started an argument.

After completing this assignment, I am amazed on how much of a better understanding I have on these concepts. Not only am I able to connect them with situations in daily life, but even to the extent at which I can relate them to circumstances in a movie. The two topics that I chose to explore further and relate to the movie and each other were conflict and politeness theory. Not only did I realize my ability to connect such topics to fulfill this assignment, but I somehow feel that my future experiences watching movies or paying attention to others daily behaviors will be more analytical after completing this assignment.

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