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Accomodating strategy

Under the influence of social psychology, especially social identity theory, communication accommodation theory are guided by mainly four assumptions.

Convergence refers to the process through which an individual shifts speech patterns in interaction so that they more closely resemble the speech patterns of speech partners.

People can converge through many features of communication such as their use of language, their "pronunciation, pause and utterance lengths, vocal intensities, non verbal behaviors, and intimacy of self disclosures"(Giles and Smith, 1979, 46), but they do not necessarily have to converge simultaneously at all of these levels.

When two people who speak different languages try to have a conversation, the language they agree to communicate with is more likely to be the one used by the higher status person.

This idea of "salient social membership" negotiation is well illustrated in the situation of an interview as the interviewee usually makes all efforts to identify with the interviewer by accommodating the way he speaks and behaves so that he can have more chance to secure the job.

Therefore, communication is not only influenced by situational conditions and initial reactions but the "...

social-historical context in which the interaction is embedded".

Since speech is a way to express group membership, people adopt convergence or divergence in communication to "signal a salient group distinctiveness, so as to reinforce a social identity".

Communication accommodation thus, becomes a tool to emphasize group distinctiveness in a positive way, and strengthen the individual's social identity.

In this case, neither of them is likely to evaluate the conversation since they have little possibility to meet again.

The importance of language and behaviours is illustrated in the third assumption since they are indicators of social status and group belongings.

The last assumption puts emphasis on social appropriateness and norms. expectations of behaviors that individuals feel should or should not occur in a conversation".