On the Relation Between Well-Being and Communication: The Ethical Turn in Conceptualization of Communication with Case Analyses of Negotiation and Decision-Making in Pepfar

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: 422
Oral Presentation
Bilyana MARTINOVSKI , Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
James G. LINN , Optimal Solutions in Healthcare & International Development
Conceptualization of communication has a crucial effect on communication itself
and on communication research. This paper explores how communication affects
and is affected by psychological well-being with case examples from an HIV/AIDS
international treatment program(PEPFAR) implemented in Southern Africa. It calls for a
re-evaluation of Weaver's metaphor on communication as exchange of  information
and develops Buber's and Peters' ideas on communication as a manifestation
of the ethical,where the ethical is described as openness to otherness and
communication is viewed as a tension between reproduction of Self with
alterity. Mutuality is not viewed as a necessary condition for the ethical because it
involves intimacy that can only be discretely expressed. It is assumed that the
end of theodicy is not the end of the ethical because the ethical is a space of
profound intimacy,beyond preachment. Extreme cases of annihilation of
otherness can't be described as rational in some cases and not others, and have
deeper roots than modernity. The paper identifies challenges for the ethical
turn in communication such as patriarchal order, implantations , involvement
of the ego, dehumanization,isolation of larger contexts, traumatic disorders,and
states of denial.  It also identifies what enhances communication as an ethical
process:reciprocal adaptation, intercultural communication, nurturing of hybrid
cultures, and distance taking techniques such as time,distance, attention/topic
shift,emotions such as feelings of awe,and art.
     Case analyses of negotiation and decision-making in PEPFAR are discussed.
Implications of effective interpersonal & intercultural communication through the
process of reciprocal adaptation for program success, reduced participant stress,
and higher participant morale and psychological well-being in HIV/AIDS treatment
programs in Southern Africa are described.