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Findings and Implications: Firefly as Dwelling Place


For the findings and implications of my research into the television series Firefly as an example of organizational dwelling place, I used the theoretical frameworks of dwelling place and dialogic communication ethics as applies to organizations.

Download the complete analysis here: StalcupAngela_Week7Assignment_042714.

To learn more about dwelling place, view this presentation on the theory.

I’ve abbreviated the Dialogic Model of Organizational Communication Ethics (Arnett, Harden-Fritz, & Bell, 2009) in the presentation. This is the model as I use it in my analysis:

  1. Listening without demand involves “attentiveness to what constitutes a given dwelling place” (Arnett et al., 2009, p. 151).
  2. Attentiveness to the coordinating grounds of the self, the Other, and the historical moment relates to an attentiveness to the “character of a given dwelling place” (p. 151) such that the ethical/narrative commitments that guide self, Other, and historical moment indicate an awareness of something beyond the individual members, an awareness of the relationship of all elements to their “communicative life together in organizational settings” (pp. 151-152).
  3. Dialogic negotiation requires that the “organizational understanding of a dwelling place must be negotiated again and again” (p. 152).
  4. Temporal dialogic ethical competence, the combination of listening, attentiveness, and dialogic negation, involves evaluation and a move from “knowledge to learning.” This is reflected in organizations as:
    1. Reflection on the Good of the dwelling place and what “changes in communicative practice are needed in the historical moment” (p. 152).
    2. An ongoing engagement in dialogue on communicative practices essential to the inevitably changing nature of the nature of the dwelling place.
  5. The emerging “possible” in organizational ethics involves “connecting one’s responsibility to a particular dwelling place, not demanding that the organization do things “my way” (p. 153).



Arnett, R.C., Harden-Fritz, J.M., & Bell, L.M. (2009). Communication ethics literacy: Dialogue and difference. Los Angeles, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Whedon, J. (Writer & Director). (2002). Serenity [Television episode] in J. Whedon & T. Minear (Executive producers) Firefly. USA: 20th Century Fox Television.

Whedon, J. (Writer & Director). (2005). Serenity [Motion picture]. USA: Universal Pictures.




  1. stacia222 says:

    I had the honor of reading your paper early in the process when you had just a draft, and I just love where you’ve taken this. As always, you have such a high caliber presentation. While I’ve never seen Firefly, I find your focus on “dwelling place” extremely interesting.

    A few things struck me when I viewed your presentation.

    First, finding the communicative practices, particularly among those that are “said” versus “saying” was extremely interesting.

    Second, when you mention how the most selfish character in Firefly said, “if you can’t do something smart, do something good,” it really shows how doing the “right” thing becomes the shared good. It’s interesting that the most selfish character in the show recognized the importance of doing the “right” thing, even if it risks the lives of the crew.

    Finally, in your implications section, you mention how both unstructured and structured practices contribute to dialogic ethic. You revealed the power of unstructured communicative practices. I agree that there is more power in unstructured communicative practices than structured practices.

    I really enjoyed your presentation and look forward to learning more through you throughout the program!

  2. […] Further, it serves as a continuation of two previous inquiry projects I conducted in the program: Firefly and Dwelling Place and Dwelling Place and Digital […]

  3. […] COMM 616: Firefly and Dwelling Place: Findings and Implications […]

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