Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Follow Up to Agreement Reality Dictates

Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication and gender. Tim is the coauthor of  The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith  and  Authentic Communication: Christian Speech Engaging Culture. I really liked his approach to understanding diversity and differences in social 'imagination' reality.  Why? Because, it follows my previous post on agreement reality dictates. If you recall, I stated that in order for social reality to exist whatsoever, agreement between people's observations in terms of meaning need to be the same or similar in order for any individual and or group to be cohesive, sustainable and stable. This agreement usually occurs through experience of social interaction in a place. Since places differ across the country and globe, people have different social interaction in them and what it means to them in that place regarding survival especially. Though Prof. Muehlhoff did not talk about agreement reality, he did indirectly. His view on Christian communication is exactly based on the 'art' of finding neutral ground for what could be common among us regarding empathetic social interaction in order to achieve agreement when it comes to encountering differing aspects of different social realities.
Basically, it requires as Charles H. Cooley called the Looking Glass Self experience which was very similar to George H. Mead's Standing in Someone Else's Shoes experience.  We are assured that we don't have to be sympathetic but empathetic which means to understand that differences exist as this is what makes cultures diverse. We can also embrace this 'understanding' as what is common among us... even if and when we don't agree. 

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