Ethnography in Praxis in the College Literature Classroom

In this article, I suggest that an applied communication approach using Dell Hymes framework of ethnography of communication could serve as an intervention strategy in order to promote a greater sense of shared community by increasing member-shared knowledge based on speech codes, speech acts, and speech events within the college literature curriculum. I explore this framework with consideration on how this communication approach could be used as a way to help students identify with stories that contain culture-specific language in the form of speech codes, and how this assumed shared knowledge is necessary for member identification. This article is exploratory; it offers researchers interested in the intersection between applied communication research and ethnography the opportunity to study the ways mediated communication can create cultural sensitivity through an insiders or emic view of the heritage, the language differences, as well as the patterns of speech often found in ethnically diverse literature.


ethnography of communication, applied communication, pedagogy