With the increase in globalization, the need for human species to interact has also increased. For instance, the social medial medium features heavy traffic of people communicating with their friends, clients, fellows or other categories of people for various reasons. Notably, communication of a vital dimension of human life. Through communication, people share their ideas and interests, support each other, work together, and understand one another. More importantly, the nature of communication between a group of people is highly influenced by their relationship. Also, the impacts and effects underlying every type of communication feature different characterize. For instance, customer-based communication tends to be formal, convincing and intended to reward both communicants with a product or profit. On the contrary, relationship-based communication informal, highly influential, and may not guarantee any rewards. More importantly, relational communication affects individuals’ identity, as it is influenced by media and religion.
As the name goes, relational communication entails the communication between two parties in a romantic, friendship, or family relationship. Both relationship and the communication process are integral, as one affects the other. That is, communication relies on the relationship to validate the skills used in encoding and decoding information, in a particular context such as community, workplace, or home (Bergeson). depending on how well relational communication is developed, people can fairly manage their affairs smoothly. Notably, effective relational communication arises after both parties have synchronized their process of encoding and decoding information. Rather, after they have formed a consensus, and understanding of the affairs they are in charge. The synching process may involve changing one’s way of doing things or thinking, which in turn has a significant impact on their identity.
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According to Goffman’s theory, the front region and the back region are significant actors in shaping relational communication. Besides, according to Stewart (2), a person’s social behavior- which encompasses communication is affected by social situations around them. Social situations include relationships. As highlighted in Goffman’s theory, the front region is fashioned to manifest the professional self, usually due to respect demanding social situations. The back region is the opposite, it is fashioned to catalase the true self which is free from social demands. Both front and back region influence the identity of a person at either category’s social situations in a relationship, and the communication process. However, some scholars have urged that while communication or rather relationships are highly influenced by Goffman’s regions, it is possible to manage one’s identity, through the Identity Management Theory.
The Identity Management Theory infers that the social identity of a person, which includes communication is affiliated with their goals (Robert and Patricia 4). That is, within certain contexts, as explained by Goffman’s theory, people adopt certain communication that portrays their identity. The change in identity is crucial as it is influenced by the goals of an individual in a certain social situation. For instance, a child advancing their parents to seek a favor tends to be very polite and submissive in their communication. However, when denied the favors, the shrink, remorse and show desperation. Both illustrations are an ideal representation of identity management in a family. Notably, each scenario has an ultimate goal, politeness to get the favors, and remorse to get their parents to change the decision. Personal identity, which is a product of both situational and goal orientations affects Hence, in relational communication, the goal is crucial as it influences the identity portrayed by an individual.
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Religion affects how friendships are fashioned and communication in the relationship thereafter. From a Christian view, communication is essential in establishing the identity of a person (Swami 15). As a novel identity fashioning process, Christians believe that humans are in the likeness of God and that their identity is in Him. Therefore, anyone who has the right social attributes must have the attributes of God. For instance, Christians believe that God has an abundance of love; hence, Christians ought to show love, and follow the command that directs on how to show love (The Holy Bible, Mark 12:31). Notably, the illustration is one among many that depict the right attributes of a Christian. In that light, the Christian, and all other religions define the right social attributes that should be an individual’s identity. Further, they shape communication such that it is as expected by their religious constructs.
New media also influence identity and relational communication. As of now, almost everyone is attached to a type of modern media such as social media, which has contributed largely to setting social expectations. As people adapt to the social constructs of modern media, say a man natural sexual instinct is consistently portrayed as to be romantic, research shows that with time, the man’s romance increases (Joel and Wells). The metric for such research includes quantifying the romance in the communication before and after the modern media. Joel and Wells continue to say that the media is a powerful tool that triggers both Goffman’s regions, hence magnifying an individual’s identity. For instance, through media, people learn to be professional and adopt more profitable communication models. The new media is successful since it is a continuous stream of messages, recommendations, advises, and passive trainer of both front and back regions.
To sum up, relational communication affects individuals’ identity, which is influenced by media and religion. Relational communication entails communication between people who are regularly in close environments or in similar social setups such as friendships, family or romance. Goffman’s regions play am a major role in shaping one’s identity. Both religion and media affect the front and back regions in various ways which shape ones’ identity, and consequently their communication.
Bergeson, T. n.d. “Communication”. Superintendent of Public Instruction. 27 November 2008 <http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/communications/default.aspx>.
Joel, P., and Wells, T. (2016). Millennial teens design and redesign themselves in online social networks. Journal of consumer behavior, 12(4), 267-279. Retrieved from https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edswss&AN=000329249800003&site=eds-live&scope=site
Robert, W., and Patricia, W. (2015). Identity theory as a theoretical framework to understand
attrition for university students in transition. Student Success, Vol 6, Iss 2, Pp 43-52 (2015), (2), 43. doi:10.5204/ssj.v6i2.286. Retrieved from