The Implications of Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory in Pakistani Context: A Critique from the Perspective of Sociolinguistics


  • Nasim Gul FATA University kohat, and kohat University of Science and Technology KUST Kohat
  • Afia Tasneem Wasti Kohat University of Science and Technology
  • Syed Sabih Ul Hassan3 Kohat University of Science and Technology


Communication is one of the essential and complex elements in our life; essential in the sense that it is the lively spirit of life and complex in the sense that communication is culture and culture is communication. It becomes more complex when there is communication between people sharing different cultures and languages. In such situations, people in interaction and communication feel anxiety and uncertainty. Therefore, the study in hand intends to unfold the implications of anxiety and uncertainty management (AUM) theory in Pakistani context. The study aims to see how people in Pakistan manage and accommodate communication/interaction in speaking situations where linguistic and cultural diversity exist. A sample of 8 English teachers and 14 PhD and 10 MPhil English linguistics scholars were selected from the population of teachers and students of English Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST). In order to achieve the main aim of this proposed research, a mixed-method approach is followed. The data are collected through validated questionnaires consisting of both open-ended and closed-ended items) on a five-point Likert scale. Analysis is done through SPSS. Percentages are calculated against all the items’ responses then interpreted and explained the data accordingly. The major findings of this research study are: the participants of the study feel anxiety/uncertainty in communication i.e. they do not feel emotionally stable in communication in socio-cultural settings with strangers, they also feel psychologically dissatisfied in the process of communication.  Interestingly, majority of the participants think that they can manage anxiety and uncertainty in communication taking place in socio-cultural contexts. Furthermore, critical cultural awareness leads to the anxiety and uncertainty reduction. Cultural diversity and linguistic diversity lead to the feeling of anxiety and uncertainty in communication in socio-cultural contexts. It is recommended that English in Pakistani context as a language/subject may be taught from sociocultural perspectives and anxiety/uncertainty management theory may be taken into consideration while teaching sociolinguistics to the students at a university level. For future researchers it is recommended to conduct such type of studies while looking into the implications of other sociolinguistics, intercultural communication theories in order to enrich students’ target language cultural competence along with linguistic competence.

Keywords: Anxiety/Uncertainty, AUM Theory, Communication,  ICC, Management, Sociolinguistics.