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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.



Draft: Firefly as Dwelling Place

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


Note: I updated the link as of 4/20/2014 with a more complete draft.

Pardon my dust. Here is a link to a draft of my paper discussing the television series Firefly as an example of the organizational communication ethic dwelling place: StalcupAngela_Week6Assignment_04202014

Organizational Dwelling Place as seen in Firefly

This video illustrates the organizational communication ethic of “dwelling place,” with space, the ship (Serenity), and the organization of the crew each functioning as a type of “dwelling.”  This presentation will give you an overview of the concept of dwelling place, discuss the essential elements of navigating competing goods, the “saying” versus the “said,” and institutions versus organizations, then illustrate these concepts as portrayed in Josh Whedon’s Firefly (2002).

Check back here by the end of April for a link to my research paper on the topic.

Question: what movies/television programs come to mind when you think of dwelling place as an ethic?



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

Lollar, K. (2013). Dialogic ethics: Leadership and the face of the Other. Journal Of The Association For Communication Administration, 32(1/2), 15-28. Retrieved from 

Whedon, J. (Writer & Director). (2002). Firefly [Television series]. USA: 20th Century Fox Television.

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