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Systems of Power, Expertise and Their Relation to Listening in The 1991 Film The Doctor - Essay Example

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The author of the paper examines the film "The Doctor" from 1991 directed by Randa Haines and starring William Hurt which features the several distinct systems and modes of the listening which vary widely depending on a speaker, listener, and setting. …
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Systems of Power, Expertise and Their Relation to Listening in The 1991 Film The Doctor
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Download file to see previous pages The opening scene of the movie provides a case study for one extreme form of listening – that in the operating room, which has definite needs and interesting power imbalances which stem from several distinct sources of responsibility and power which operate in the room. A close examination of the opening scene of The Doctor can demonstrate an extreme setting and system of listening, which creates a significant power imbalance and could be rectified through small changes in environment and participation. One of the most commonly analyzed listening environments is the listener-focused on. This kind of listening environment focuses heavily on the listener’s perspective and opinion of the interaction (Brownell 40). This kind of environment features such things as school presentations, speeches, business presentations or marriage proposals. The opening scene of The Doctor features the polar opposite of this listening environment – rather than focusing on what the listener hears, this scene nearly entirely concentrates on what the speaker says significantly discounting other voices or perceptions. The opening scene takes place in an operating room, where there is essentially only one speaker who completely dominates the speaking and listening environment. The main surgeon controls everything about the environment – frequently changing what kind of ambient noise is occurring (telling others to turn music on and off, for instance) and communicating based solely on his own perceptions of need. The listeners in this environment are supposed to be completely passive in terms of communication, and simply react silently to orders barked by the main surgeon – in the only instance when someone tries to make him the listener, by telling him that he has a time limit, the doctor fails to respond, or acknowledge that he has heard what is being said. This pattern continues in doctor-everyone else relations throughout the entire course of the movie, and one of the most interesting aspects of the film is the shift the main character, Jack MacKee, experiences the shift from being solely a doctor to also being a patient with cancer.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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