12 Angry Men: Communication Analysis Paper

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Arthur Mcqueen
SPCM 8:00a MWF
April 17, 2006

Communication Analysis Paper
12 Angry Men

For an in-depth look into the workings of small groups few movies have offered more than the beloved classic, 12 Angry Men. A small group is defined as group of approximately 5 to 12 people who share a common purpose and follow similar organizing rule. 12 Angry Men, as its title suggests, depicts a story of exactly 12 men who form such a group. The movie opens in the first state of Group Development, the opening period. This is the time when people in small groups will small talk, introduce themselves, and begin to learn a little about one another. During this stage in the movie, jurors discuss the view, old buildings, hot weather colds, and some even share what they do for a living. One juror shares about his Beck and Call messenger company with ¡°37 employees.¡±

The feedforward stage begins when Juror 1 says, ¡°Okay, men, let¡¯s take our seats.¡± In this stage the group is trying to identify what needs to be done, and how it¡¯s going to get done. After the men take their seats Juror 1 explains their task. He explains that a consensus, or a unanimous vote, is necessary stating that it will take a full 12 votes for an acquittal or a guilty verdict. He further explains that a guilty verdict demands the punishment be ¡°the chair.¡± Still in the feedforward stage, the jurors agree to take a preliminary vote which reveals an eleven to one split and thus their ¡°problem¡± is identified. ¡°Well at least we know where we stand,¡± states one juror. Another says, ¡°Seems to me it¡¯s up to us to convince this guy that we¡¯re right.¡± It is here that ideas are given about how to accomplish just that. Ideas are given such as allowing Juror 8 to explain just what he¡¯s thinking so they can tell him how he¡¯s ¡°mixed up.¡± Another agreed upon idea is to go once around the table giving each juror a chance to share facts from the case to convince number...
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