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- Ambiguity, Context, and Culture (LaFleur) - Online Textbook
Author: Prof. G.B. Pierre LaFleur, M.A., Ph.D.
About the Book:
I have endeavored to assemble a simple, thoughtful book of poetic puzzles to consider, for all of us; after all, all of us struggle to successfully communicate with others.
As a teacher, I have come to believe that casting the problems of communication in accessible but puzzling verse and other problematic prose offerings is a way of promoting curiosity and thus personal learning -- learning that can go well beyond what one may learn by simply reading a textbook or some other tome. Teachers of the hard sciences know this well and assign problems to solve.
This little book focuses on the frustration we experience, all of us, at trying to make sense of one's own Self and at trying to maintain one's own self-esteem.
We all have difficulty in understanding others, even when and if we are unaware of this misunderstanding.
We all have difficulty understanding ourselves and how others see us.
We all have difficulty persuading others to do what is desired or to adopt our perspective.
So, this book can be a tool to help us recognize and explore communicative difficulties. It also focuses on persuasion that is useful in everyday life and for professions that require selling, the difficulties of conveying information that is believable.
In simple language, the book explores everyday problems that arise from of our complex codes, i.e., complicated languages, the problems of body language, our problems of motivation, the nature and difficulties of poor listening, and other failures of communication, some due to racial and cultural barriers and the problems that lead to the deterioration and failure of relationships.
I have tried to present ideas in a way that may stimulate discussion. Small groups, book reading groups, therapy groups, and even problem-solving groups may find it useful to discuss the lines herein.
The book can be used as a stimulus for the sharing of personal information and the discussion of life's problems. For that reason, I hope it will be used by teachers of all kinds, perhaps as supplementary reading in courses. I believe it can help students relate to the human problems of understanding others and being personally understood.
Finally, I hope this little book will help end the despair that some people experience feeling that they are miserably alone. We are, all of us, in this together, and the struggle to communicate and then succeed is at the heart of life and love. It's all worth it.
G. B. Pierre LaFleur, Ph.D.