12 Angry Men Essays

Through group communication, we can see a group becoming a good thing or a bad thing. When we work in a group we tend to create some division if ideas go out of hand, or we create good energy if we are able to get along with one another. When it comes to groups, each member might have different values or personalities that would be different. In the film “Twelve Angry Men” dissects and show a great deal of what group communication looks like when different kind of people come together to make a big decision. The dynamics that play in a jury room in the ’50s in The United States. The action revolves around the opinions, perceptions, reason, and logic of twelve diverse characters that are tasked with pronouncing the guilt or innocence of a young man accused of patricide. There were examples of non-verbal communication, small group communication, and Cultural Diversity.

In the group communication textbook, the author’s goals and talk about leadership in nonverbal communication. Being a skilled nonverbal communicator helps you to provide leadership, both through facilitating others’ participation and through participating yourself. On chapter 4, pg 75 it states “Most of the time in a small group, only one person is speaking, but all members are sending nonverbal signals all the time. For instance, In 12 Angry Men, we see that all the jurors were kind of outdone by one of the jurors. By seeing their expressions you see that they were getting angry and stressed out, now that they would have to spend time until they got a specific answer. Then, the emotions on the face began to seem restless and angry. Nonverbal is also facial expressions, gestures and eye contact. For example, as the jury leaves the deliberation room, one man pulls out a chair for an older gentleman on the jury and hands him his hat, two others help their fellow jurors get their coats on. Finally, the juror 8 who pushed for not guilty from the start gets the coat of the juror 3 who was the last hold out for guilty and helps him into it. No dialogue is spoken. Four times, gestures of kindness and understanding between men who had a huge debate on the innocence of a young man. They came to an understanding with out saying a word which makes the scene so much powerful.

“If a small group is to operate effectively, members must understand each other. Listening well helps this process.”(Chapter 3 pg 55)An issue of small group communication I observed in the film is developing team dialogue through listening and questioning.not using effective listening and questioning in team dialogue can lead to miscommunication, and therefore arguments. The majority of the men in the film do not use dialogic listening and questioning when explaining their perspective. At the beginning of the discussion, the group did try to facilitate listening and turn-taking by going around the table and letting every man state his reason for why he voted the way he did. Unfortunately, interruptions halted the group’s progress of team dialogue. An example of this was when Juror 3 interrupted Juror 9 simply because he did not want to have to hear what Juror 9 was saying. In bringing the floor back to Juror 9, Juror 6 interrupts Juror 3, displaying a positive way of facilitating turn-taking.

Cultural diversity is in the film based off all 12 men coming from different backgrounds which affected some of their decision in the beginning. In the film in question, the use of this aspect of interpersonal communication strengthens the interaction between certain jurors while weakening the relations of others. For example, in Act 1, the fifth and the tenth jurors engage in an argument that turns personal attitude and builds tension between them. The fifth juror almost engages his opponent in a fistfight. He is furious about the sarcastic attitude of the tenth juror while addressing slum dwellers because he grew up in such surroundings sarcastic attitude of the tenth juror while addressing slum dwellers because he grew up in such surroundings.

In conclusion From this film, it is evident how interpersonal communication plays a vital role in society. It also determines many factors such as convincing people to take a stand, following a leader, making decisions as well as shaping relationships between people. On the other hand, it is affected by several factors such as violence that influences how people communicate, self-disclosure that is determined by the relationship between two people, amongst other factors. Within the film, it is evident that interpersonal communication has a role to play on how people relate with one another within a society, which makes it a crucial aspect of communication. 

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