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Communication of the “Invisible”: Disclosing and Inferring Sexual Orientation through Visual and Vocal Cues

Fasoli, F, Maass, A and Sulpizio, S (2016) Communication of the “Invisible”: Disclosing and Inferring Sexual Orientation through Visual and Vocal Cues In: Advances in Intergroup Communication. Language as Social Action (12). Peter Lang Publications. ISBN 9781454190332

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When encountering people or learning about them from the media, we often spontaneously categorize them according to their gender, race, and age. This allows us to make a distinction between “us” and “them” depending on a salient group membership (Tajfel & Turner, 1986). Sometimes we go one step further trying to guess category memberships that are invisible. This is the case for sexual orientation (SO), an invisible and intrinsically private characteristic that remains uncertain until individuals explicitly self-disclose. Whereas gender, race or age can be recognized with relative ease by means of their physical correlates, it is more difficult to identify biological or physical expressions of SO on which to base categorization. When group membership is uncertain, communication of social identity becomes particularly relevant: Individuals need to know whom they are interacting with in order to get prepared for social interactions (Hogg, 2007). Conversely, high levels of uncertainty may well interfere with verbal communication (Berger & Calabrese, 1975). SO communication is thus likely to shape interpersonal and intergroup relations (Hajek & Giles, 2002; Hajek, Abrams, & Murachver, 2005).

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects : Psychology
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Maass, A
Sulpizio, S
Editors :
Giles, H
Maass, E
Date : 2016
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2016 Peter Lang International Academic Publishers
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:48
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 16:14

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