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Heterosexual and Homosexual Male Friendships in The History Boys (2006): Interpersonal Communication Strategies in Relationship Building - Research Paper Example

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Heterosexual and Homosexual Male Friendships in The History Boys (2006): Interpersonal Communication Strategies in Relationship Building Intimacy is not something that British and American men, in general, seek in their male-male social relationships (Bowman, 2009, p. 171). …
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Heterosexual and Homosexual Male Friendships in The History Boys (2006): Interpersonal Communication Strategies in Relationship Building
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Download file to see previous pages 171). Self-disclosure, nevertheless, includes varying forms of intimacy, and even men disclose private information to their male friends, depending on their perceptions of privacy boundaries, assessment of rewards/costs of disclosure, and decision for wanting a closer relationship, among other factors (Derlega et al., 2008, pp. 116-117). Homosexual and heterosexual men, however, may have different interpersonal communication strategies. This paper analyzes the interpersonal communication strategies of homosexual and heterosexual adolescents in the film The History Boys by Cusack and Hytner (2006). It illustrates that whatever sexual orientation these adolescents have, they use communication cues to form target impressions that can start and maintain social relationships, but there are individual-based differences on how they guard and break personal privacy boundaries, depending on their privacy rules on self-disclosure. The History Boys illustrates the controversial, but engaging, preparation of a group of young, intelligent, but randy, teenagers of Cutlers' Grammar School for their university entrance exams in the most prestigious universities, Oxford and Cambridge. The Headmaster (Clive Merrison) believed that Mrs. Lintott (Frances de la Tour) and Hector (Richard Griffiths) were admirably training these students for the coveted goal of getting into the said universities, but he still hired the help of an ambitious teacher, Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore), to give his students an extra edge. Irwin became extra close to Dakin (Dominic Cooper) and Posner (Samuel Barnett) because of their admiration toward him. Irwin, however, got more than he bargained for, as a teacher with possible tenure and career advancement path in Cutlers, when his gender, as well as Dakin’s and Posner’s sexual orientations, revealed sexual tensions that unraveled during his teaching stint for his students. The History Boys demonstrates the various purposes of education, which can also lead to self-knowledge and self-revelation. Interpersonal communication strategies rely on communication cues that people exploit to manage impressions that will, in turn, help them in attaining social and communication goals. Communication cues refer to a wide range of verbal and non-verbal expressions that people do not always directly state or show, but rather, they are more of personally observed (Griffin, 2009, p. 139). Impression formation pertains to the process of creating mental images, or impressions, about other people, by using the cues that they project to their communication partners (Griffin, 2009, p. 139). Seiter et al. (2009) described impression management as a process of managing communicative behaviors to form desired personal images (p. 2). Dakin, for instance, wants to send a “bad boy” image to his fellow male classmates and friends. In the beginning of the film, boys lined up to see their grades, and some of them rejoiced over their high grades (Cusack & Hytner, 2006). When Dakin arrived, he said that he already knew his academic standing last night, and then he looked playfully at Fiona (Georgina Taylor), the Headmaster’s secretary-receptionist. Without even saying anything verbal, his non-verbal behavior indicates he did something sexual or romantic with Fiona last night. He wanted to send the impression that he was a sexually active adolescent, which his friends considered “cool,” since they teased him with pride afterwards (Cusack & Hytner, 2006). Male-male relationships involve sending diverse communication cues to maintain their social relations. Teacher-student relations portray rich communication cues too. Hector was popular to his students because of his charming personality and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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