2012 | 6 | 87-105
Article title

An overview of contextual variables in the analysis of conflict with an example of their operation in literary discourse

Selected contents from this journal
Title variants
Czynniki kontekstowe i ich znaczenie dla analizy konfliktu na przykładzie dialogów literackich
Languages of publication
Context and meaning are dynamie phenomena, constructed in interaction. Interac-tants cooperate in constructing context, which involves various social, psychological and cognitive factors that determine what is said and what is understood during an ex-change. In this article, the data for analysis is a selection of two sample conflictive ex-changes between father and his grown-up son presented in American play Fences by August Wilson. These conflicts are freąuently heated, irrational spirals. Therefore, par-ticular attention will be devoted to the mental context of the language used in these conflicts and its relation to the choice of conflict strategies. The internal (mental) con-text will be analyzed in terms of the participants’ cognitive-affective-conative system; that is, e.g. how the interactants’ knowledge, perception or attention can trigger conflict through false assumptions about each other’s lives, denial of certain facts or lack of information; how the interactants’ emotions, personalities, needs etc. contribute to the development of conflict when they are incompatible or mutually exclusive; and how the conflict participants’ verbal behavior relates to their motivations and goals, such as instrumental or relational goals, either explicitly stated or deliberately obscured. Another important set of contextual variables are those of the external (social and his-torical) context such as the participants’ power, distance or gender, and the spatio-temporal frame. Additionally, the multidimensional role of context in the production and reception of a literary text will be looked at, as the various contexts are in constant interaction.
Artykuł jest próbą ukazania, jak ważną rolę w konstruowaniu znaczenia w in-terakcji odgrywa kontekst. Przyjęto założenie, że szeroko pojęty kontekst jako suma czynników społecznych, psychologicznych i mentalnych (kognitywnych) niejednokrot-nie decyduje o tym, jak (błędnie) są interpretowane wypowiedzi - a to prowadzi do konfliktu. Na przykładzie dwóch fragmentów z dramatu Augusta Wilsona pt. Fences dokonano krótkiej analizy konfliktu między ojcem a synem, ze szczególnym uwzględ-nieniem kontekstu mentalnego jako systemu kognitywno-afektywno-konatywnego. Poza tradycyjnym ujęciem kontekstu jako tła społeczno-kulturowego wydarzeń ukazano min., jak różnice w postrzeganiu i rozumieniu zdarzeń, niewiedza lub wyparcie faktów mogą wywołać konflikt, jakie znaczenie mają emocje oraz osobowość uczestników konfliktu. Artykuł zawiera również podsumowanie podejść do zagadnienia kontekstu w literaturze oraz charakterystykę oddziaływania różnych rodzajów kontekstu w tekście literackim.
Physical description
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