Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Avatar final project


Published on

Created by undergraduate Communication Majors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for an introductory level course in the subfield of Language and Social Interaction. For more info:

Published in: Technology, Education
  • Commentary on this presentation is on the course-specific wiki at the University of Massachusetts Amherst:
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

Avatar final project

  1. 1. Interpersonal Communication in<br />“Avatar”<br />
  2. 2. Building Block Process<br />“Saying something does not make it happen, it has to happen in a certain context.” - Pearce<br />Any form of communication in the movie Avatar is an example of this because every utterance in the movie is a block, each block added forms a triplet and from there you have a conversation. <br />
  3. 3. Unfinished Creative Process<br />“… treating utterances in terms of their uses rather than assuming that they have any inherent meaning.” -Pearce<br />In Avatar this is all true as in the beginning when Jake first meets the na’vi people and they are first trying to communicate. They are two totally different cultures so they can’t possibly communicate until understand each others language.3<br />
  4. 4. <ul><li>Conversational Triplets</li></ul>In the movie the Eywa, (God-like tree) was very similar to the wikiand conversations on the wikitoday. The wiki provides a new way of technology for humans to communicate past the face-to-face interaction. It creates communication from other methods and longer conversations that possibly could become more meaningful. This process is symbolic process where the conversation is ultimately never ended and be continued or restarted at any moment. New technology has made these symbolic processes more and more common.<br />The scene takes place where Jake Sully was about to be attacked by Neytiri, the daughter of a Na’vi leader because the believed Jake was a spy and harming nature. She was on a cliff spying on Jake and she was about to shoot him with an arrow when a single Eywa Spirit floated down from Eywa signifying to Neytiri that Jake was actually good. A woodspriteis a seed from the great tree and only floats to good people. This communication between the Eywa and Neytiri is non-verbal. Nothing is spoken in this exchange, yet Neytiri is informed that Jake is good through it all. This is like the wiki because this conversation is not face-to-face and it can be started at any point because the woodspriteswill appear. Once they do, the Na’v’sknow theEywais talking.<br />
  5. 5. The evidence there is a conversation going on here is the SPEAKING model…<br />S- In the forest of Pandora<br />P- Eywa and Neytiri<br />E-Eywa symbolizes that Jake is good and will not harm<br />A- Neytiri is about to shoot Jake from afar however; the Eywa sends woodspitessymbolizing Jake is good.<br />K- this was a very suspenseful moment in the movie because we see that Jake, the main character is about to be killed, and then we see these floating things come down from Eywa and now the audience is confused what they represent.<br />I- Non-verbal communication and symbolism ultimately symbolism process conversation that never ends and can always restart.<br />N- Norms are that whatever the woodspites go towards or fall off Eywa for is naturally good<br />G- Confusion<br />Each tree has ten to thefourth connections to the trees around it, and there are ten to the twelfthtrees on Pandora -- (Avatar Movie)<br />“By providing tools for mediated interactions, social media allow teens to extend their interactions beyond physical boundaries. Conversations and interactions that begin in person do not end when friends are separated.” (Boyd)<br />This creates more symbolic processing and less face to face interaction....Technology nowadays makes communication so easy it can be done through phones, computers etc. In avatar it is completed through the trees because in Pandora the trees is their technology and communication source.<br />
  6. 6. Irony and Gender <br />* “Animutations use depictions of WOMEN CHARACTERS and EFFEMINATE or FEMINIZED MEN to represent identities that must be rejected in order to conform to hegemonic masculinity.” (Kendall).<br />These videos are a new tool for young men to explore ideas about masculinity and identity. <br />* “IRONY allows for the communication of multiple contradictory messages.” (Kendall).<br />In other words, irony is an escape, a way for keeping both explicit and implicit messages in the video. <br />In Avatar, Jake chooses a women to have as his mate…<br />NEYTIRI: “You are Omaticaya now. You may make your own<br /> bow from the wood of Hometree. (she looks away)<br /> And you may choose a woman.”<br />The line “and you may choose a woman” shows the gender stereotyping that is prevalent in Avatar. It demonstrates a type of masculine irony that exists in the movie because of assumptions made about women by the male movie writers.<br />
  7. 7. Gender stereotypes, seen in Avatar, can be linked to language due to the creation of stereotypes in our society through certain norms, assumptions, and society influences. The choosing of a women stereotypical cast males as the dominate role in relationships, leaving the women without a choice in the situation. Jake has no choice to choose a person outside of the heterosexual norms when told to pick a women displaying the influence society has placed on storytelling in Hollywood. This influence is created by the language and diction used when speaking about non-heterosexual relations in a public forum. A negative, uncomfortable, or comedic connotation is often used making it difficult to add these relationships to a story such as Avatar because it’s target audience would view these relations as negative, uncomfortable, or comedic.<br />A Brief Elaboration On Gender and Language<br />
  8. 8. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication in Developed vs. Undeveloped Nations<br />Selfridge:“Isn't that the whole point of your little puppet show? You walk like them, you talk like them. We build them a school, teach them English, but after how many years the relations with the indigenous are only getting worse.<br />Dr. Grace Augustine: Yeah, well that tends to happen when you use machine guns on them.”<br />Selfridge:“Right. Come with me. You see this? This is why we're here. Because this little gray rock sells for $20 million a kilo. This is what pays for the whole party, and it's what pays for your science. Those savages are threatening our whole operation. We're on the brink of war and you're supposed to be finding me a diplomatic solution. So use what you've got, and get me some results.”<br />*Selfridge is explaining the benefits that they personally would reek if they were to overrun home tree and take what is valuable.  Similar to how the US or any powerful nation could do to countries like Iraq that have resources such as oil. <br />*Also just as Selfridge states that the money will be used for science, the money the US or any other country saves from the resources they get from poor nations can put be towards NASA or anything like that.<br />
  9. 9. Jake Sully:<br />“They're not going to give up their home.<br />They're not going to make a deal. Pff for what?<br />A light beer and blue jeans?<br />There's nothing that we have that they want.<br />Everything they sent me out here to<br />do is a waste of time.<br />They're never going to leave hometree.”<br />*Jake is saying that the Navi people don’t want any help or anything that the human’s have. They enjoy being independent. The Navi people just want their hometree( WIKI!) and to be left alone. <br />From The Avatar Movie Script:<br />
  10. 10. An elaboration on communication between <br />developed and undeveloped nations<br />American and other countries with power often think that countries of lower status want the life style that we lead. When Jake comments about blue jeans and light beer he is commenting on those thoughts people in power often have. These thoughts are created through communication between developed and undeveloped nations. Because the ways of the undeveloped nations are sometimes not understood or “savage” like to the developed nation they communicate with them in a way that is condescending, creating a relationship norm of the powerful enforcing their will on the weak.<br />
  11. 11. <ul><li>Multi-modal Communication</li></ul>In Avatar, Jake Sully enters the created shell of what looks like a Navi body. He lives in the body as if he were a real Navi, in a new world where he can explore different interests just as someone could on the internet but in a more real life way. The movie Avatar represents a new form of technology on the web called Second Life. Second Life is a website where people create “avatars” to represent themselves and live in this new world created on the web. <br />
  12. 12. Identity Creation<br />This type of identity creation has been seen before with the games such as “The Sims”, but this new website emphasizes a new form of communication worldwide. Through this site you can communicate with people on the other side of the world, and many businesses are adopting this site as a means of holding meetings with associates doing business in multiple countries. This is happening more and more on the internet.<br />
  13. 13. Boyd’s take on it…<br />Boyd wrote an article about the changing dynamics of teen relationships since websites like Second Life and other socialnetworking sites began. “many of today's teens are choosing to gather with friends online” (Boyd). This is changing how people communicate with each other. Conversations that occur in the real world can carry over to the internet. Conversational triplets can be lineated throughout multiple media types. Conversations can begin on these sites as well.<br />
  14. 14. These networking sites can also…<br />These sites can also bring people with common interest together. But when interest is sparked in people it can change relationships formed in real life. Lyle writes about the change in dynamics in his article on divorce. “Potential selves are realized through new forms of relationship that allow for new knowledge to develop. Couples can do this together by engaging in new behaviors, whether they are new recreational activities or new interactionalpatterns. By changing the context, the couple will be able to access new potential identities.” (Lyle). This means that when new potential selves are found online it must be shared within couples in order to maintain and build relationships.<br />
  15. 15. “This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare..”<br />(Newitz 2009)<br />
  16. 16. Racism, Language, and Avatar<br />Underlying racism in Avatar is made evident through several factors:<br />Character appearance<br />“Watching the movie, there is really no mistake that these are alien versions of stereotypical native peoples that we've seen in Hollywood movies for decades.” (Newitz 2009)<br />“The Na'vi are blue, catlike versions of native people: They wear feathers in their hair, worship nature gods, paint their faces for war, use bows and arrows, and live in tribes.” (Newitz 2009)<br />
  17. 17. Plotline<br />“A white guy manages to get himself accepted into a closed society of people of color and eventually becomes its most awesome member.” (Molloy 2010) <br />“Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color - their cultures, their habitats, and their populations. The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the "alien" cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become "race traitors," and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed.” (Molloy 2010)<br />
  18. 18. Language<br />“This racial effect is cleverly accomplished by using certain speech patterns and body language.”<br />Accent<br />In “Avatar”<br />In “Pocahontas” (2:51-2:57)<br />
  19. 19. 2. Dialect<br />“Black Americans […] actually think in and use African syntactical patterns, but they have borrowed and extensively used European words. [African-American english] follows the African deep structure in every respect when it is different from English, and there is solid empirical linguistic evidence of identical deep structure or syntactical patterns in West African languages. What this means is that African people in America originally adapted English words to their own African system of pronunciation, enunciation, morphology and grammatical sentence structure. So that the so-called "Black English” still spoken by many Black Americans is [almost] a separate language whose basic foundation is clearly African.” <br />(from "EBONICS: A Serious Analysis of African American Speech Patterns”, Legrand H. Clegg II 1997)<br />
  20. 20. Navi Language<br />Translations<br />Warrior=Tsamsiyu<br />Spear=Tukru<br />Spirit=Tirea<br />Learn=Nume<br />To see=Ne tse'a<br />To be=Ne lu<br />To ask=Ne pawm<br />To hunt=Ne taron<br />To love= Ne yawne<br />To eat=Ne yom<br />I am the warrior=Oe ma tsamsiyu<br />
  21. 21. The End<br />-Rosey Allen<br />-Hannah Monahan<br />-Taylor Garron<br />-Carl Danoff<br />-Stephen Gershlak<br />-Tony Bolduc<br />-Mike Jezard<br />-Dan Dipiero<br />-Nate Foy<br />