In this analysis, I have chosen Moanalua Road setting in Oahu Island because I am very familiar with both the verbal and non-verbal speech interactions that usually occur in this place.
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This island is surrounded by two roads that are parallel to each other. On a normal day, the two roads are often busy as pedestrians and other forms of traffic mingle with each other in different directions. Towards the northern side of this island, a boundary has been created by the H-1 freeway. On the other hand, the southern region is bordered by the Moanalua Road.
Both of these two roads are quite phenomenal on this small island. At one time when I was taking a short walk down the streets, I came to realize that the Moanalua Road is also part and parcel of the pearl Ridge shopping center. People at this place seem to be quite relaxed and less active than the upper side of this town. From the concept of speech acts, it is definite that there are minimal activities taking place here although the lower section of the road has quite a several small shopping units. Also, I noted that people are quite friendly along Moanalua Road since they can easily greet even a stranger who passes nearby.
I can remember there was a time when I had forgotten my way into the public beach. I tried several times to locate the small pathway that I had earlier used with my friends sometimes back without any success. When I eventually got tired of searching for the correct route to the beach, I boldly requested assistance from another middle-aged man who was making a phone call by the roadside. Initially, my body language could tell it all. I was appearing extremely scared bearing in mind that I was not sure if I was talking to the right person.
Another evident speech act that I employed in this scenario was when I described my problem to the stranger. He guided me through the thin avenue behind the shopping center until I was able to find my way to the public beach. It is imperative to note that the description is an important element of speech act because it leads an individual to perform a particular action. It was only after I described my problem to the middle aged man that I eventually traced my way to the beach. I had to say ‘thank you sir’ after I got his assistance.
For the time that I have interacted with the activities and occupants of the Moanalua road, I have come to realize that the road was constructed to join the lower section of the island with the rest of the region and especially towards the beach area. There are no many advertisements mounted on the sides of this road compared to what I have always noted with the northern part of the island. Perhaps, one of the reasons why advertisers do not target the Moanalua road stretch is because of its low population density.
In any case, any form of advertisement must target a particular set of audience. According to the ritual Model of Communication, the use of symbols is instrumental when launching advisements or other forms of announcements. This model supports the fact that reality is usually generated, transformed, and maintained whenever any form of communication is taken as a symbolic process.
From my close observation, the long stretching Moanalua road had quite a several customized advertisement billboards targeting certain categories of people. For instance, this section of the island is mainly occupied by the less active generation who are in their middle to old ages. As such, businesses that are advertising their products along this road have customized the messages in such a way that they sound classical and appear less flashy than the rest of the adverts in town. Moreover, the adverts also announce products that are mainly used by the generation being targeted.
My recent visit to some sections of the Moanalua road surprised me a lot. I remember talking about 15 minutes to maneuver through the busy avenues on the northern side of the town before I could eventually land on this road. It is my famous route since I use it all the time when I go to the beach during the holidays. Contrary to the way I had left the road last time, I came back only to find that it was being extended widthwise on both sides.
It was apparent that there was increasing traffic flow on this road as a result of the steel manufacturing factory that began its operations 10 kilometers away from the common shopping center. Unfortunately, there were several business establishments located along the road that had to be brought down to pave way for the expansion. Some individuals had occupied sections of the road reserved for future expansions. Hence, they had no option but to relocate their businesses.
At first, I wondered why some of the businesses were caught up unawares by the bulldozers. After making some inquires, I came to learn that the business people had been served with adequate notices before the start of the construction. However, some of them ignored the warnings and went ahead with their daily activities. Such a scenario is common with human beings and attempts to explain why the communication concept of proxemics was brought forward by Edward Hall in the early 1960s. This concept offers a detailed understanding of the genesis and prognosis of nonverbal communication within a given setting. Also, both the territory and personal space are given due consideration in this nonverbal theoretical framework.
If we may relate the proxemics concept with the occurrence at Moanalua road, it is apparent that the immediate space that an individual dominates can be likened to the personal space while the regions where an individual cannot claim are known as territorial space. As such, business people who had put up structures along the reserved areas of Moanalua road were actually within the territorial space, and therefore, they could not claim such space.
However, it is perhaps quite profound to relate the above case with communication ideals. The authority had to eventually make use of the nonverbal communication (by forcefully demolishing the structures erected on the Moanalua road reserve). This type of non-verbal communication takes the form of an action to pass a message or information from one party to another. In other words, it is an action-oriented form of verbal communication that aims at achieving a certain goal or set of objectives. I also suppose that the businesses must have been served with adequate written notices before their premises could finally be brought down.
This type of communication is nonverbal although it still serves the same purpose as action-oriented nonverbal communication.
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Ever since business premises were demolished to pave way for road expansion, several things have changed along this road and the adjacent neighborhoods. The main change has been noted in the way residents and the rest of the business community conduct themselves to maintain a hygienic environment. Initially, garbage collection was a real problem due to the fact most businesses operating along the Moanalua road had no systems of collecting and disposing of waste since the downtown strip was perceived to be largely less developed and inactive. However, as small businesses continued to spring up, waste management became a worrying issue.
As a result, residents and businesses were advised to organize and put in place their localized waste collection and storage systems so that their main task of the local authorities would be to dispose of such wastes. While such an arrangement may have appeared easy to implement, that was not the case at all. It proved to be cumbersome to pass the message to all and sundry bearing in mind that lack of strategic public waste disposal points hindered even those in the streets to dispose of tiny wastes while on the go. Worse still, the compliance rate of businesses and residents along the Moanalua road was very poor in the first few months.
It is highly likely that how information was being passed from the authorities to the members of the public was equally poor. According to the transmission model of communication, the functionality of communication that is passed from one party to another can be enhanced by a mathematical interpretation of the same. The model aims at making sure that two or more parties can communicate with each other as expected. The meaning of communicating, in this case, refers to the understanding level of the parties concerned. They should be able to comprehend each other as per the information that is being shared between them. In any case, the interaction between or among individuals is the basic goal or framework of communication regardless of the theoretical model that is applied.
Poor interactive communication between the residents living along Moanalua road and the local authority in Hawaii Island led to misunderstanding on how wastes should be collected and stored. Efficient and functional communication can only exist when understanding among the concerned parties prevail. This also explains why the transmission model of communication was invented.
The concept of “the looking-glass self” is also an important theoretical communication model that can be used to explain why the residents and businesses along this popular road eventually decided to obey the local authority on waste collection and storage.
After some struggle between the two sides, the poor waste disposal grew into a serious environmental health risk. After evaluating their past behaviors and reflecting on the best course of action, the residents opted to manage their wastes indoors instead of littering the footpath of the Moanalua road. This type of reflection and the consequent change in behavior is best explained with this concept.
Eventually, the businesses and residents along this road played their roles quite well by employing the concept of “adjacent pairs”. For instance, the request made by local authorities to manage wastes was finally accepted even after some period of denial or rejection of the offer.