KWI – Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (Kulturwissenschaftliches Intitut Essen, KWI)

Research_area Culture of communication

Director: Prof. Dr. Jo Reichertz

The research area ‘cultures of communication’, established in 2015,
examines in an interdisciplinary way the communicative practices that are used by members of different cultures of communication to coordinate their actions with each other. It examines for example cultures of communication that are bound to languages or nationalities, religious or ideological orientations, differently developed capacities of people to coordinate their actions with each other through communication (people with dementia or autistic people) or different modes of communication (emotional, linguistical, interactive).

Communicative action does not ‘automatically‘ cause comprehension and obedience. Both depend on specific social and situational conditions. In this context, the communicative power, that has been acquired in previous communicative togetherness, plays a key role. Allthough the spoken word reaches without differences anyone who is near, and therefore it is apparently egalitarian and applied to equality, the impact of communicative action is measured empirically by the social power and the communication power of the speaker. Nevertheless: Communicative action can not force anything, but it can suggest and equip something with consequences. Therefore, communicative power is always based on recognition.