Nuclear brinkmanship: a study in non-linguistic communication.
Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 47
This article examines meaning making with nuclear bombs and military manoeuvres. The data is verbatim audio recordings from the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The analysis uses concepts from impression management and dialogism. It is found that actions often speak louder than words and that even non-linguistic communication with nuclear weapons is often oriented to third-parties, in this case, world opinion. A novel process of 'staging the other' is identified, that is, when one side tries to create a situation which will force the other side to act in a way which will create a negative impression on world opinion. Staging the other is a subtle form of meaning making for it entails shaping how third parties will view a situation without those third parties being aware of the intentionality of the communication.
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