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Summary - Thinking Through Communication An Introduction to the Study of Human Communication
1.1 A brief history of communication study
What is and when was the classical period?In 500 B.C till 400 C.E, oral speech and rhetoric
What was and when was the medieval period and the renaissance?In 400 till 1600, study of writing and preaching
What was and when was the modern period?1600 till 1900, written word became popular, classical, phycological, letristic and cutionary approach
What was and when was the Contemporary period?1900 till present, scientific approach
What are the four stages in communication history and when were they?Prehistoric over 500.000 years ago
Speech and language over 400.000 years ago
The age of writing 32.000 B.C
The age of information 1440 and onwards
What is pathos?Emotional attachment and feelings
What is logos?Logic and structure
What is ethos?Intelligence and moral
What are the five canons of rhetoric?
1.2 Communication today: contemporary departments of rhetoric and communication theory
What are the two methods of the study of communication?Rhetoric and scientific
What do these two methods have in common?They both want to know how people affect each other as they interact
What is credibility?If someone is believable
There can be different definitions of the word communication here are listed a few different ones:
2.1 Defining communication
There are different meanings to the word communication. Here are some different definitions listed:
Exchanging information to one another by speaking, writing or using a different medium.
Communication is a process of acting on information.
Non verbal interaction is the unspoken, often unintentional behavior that accompanies verbal communication and helps us fully interpret the meaning.
Divide communication is to subfieldsInterpersonal communication
Small group communication
Interpersonal = individual, one to one interaction
Small group = how many people is a small group
Public = how public speakers sway audiences
Intercultural = how different cultures communicate
Organizational = how communication plays out in a business
Mass= how messages are broadcasted to large group (TV)
2.2 How models help us understand communication
The forms and functions of models:
Explanatory function= dividing a process into different parts and showing how these parts are connected
Predictive function= models help us answer questions about the future.
Control function= models guide our behavior, they show us how to control a process
Drawbacks of models:
- models are incomplete (because they are simplified versions of very complex processes)
- there are many ways to model a single process
- models make assumptions about processes
2.3 All depends on your point of view: four perspectives
Four perspectives models (set of assumptions about the way process operates:
1. Psychological perspective= this perspective focusses on 'inside the heads' of the communicators as they communicate
2. Social constructionist perspective= sees communication as a process whereby people using tools that are provided by their culture, create collective representations of reality
3. Pragmatic perspective= consists of a system of interlocking, interdependent 'moves' which become patterned over time. Games.
4. Cultural studies perspective= Any given culture is, in fact, a web of interconnected acts of communication, all od which carry meaning, much of which lies below the surface.
-structures of domination
Psychological model of communication=
wherebytwo (or more) individualsexchange meaning through the transmission and reception of communication stimuli. Messages are filteredthough an individualsstore of beliefs, attitudes, values and emotions. Person A gives a message though a channel to Person B, person B decodesthe message (understands). Person B might not understand this by noise. When understood person B respondsthe same way. (answers message)
According to this model communication is unsuccessful whenever the meanings intended by the source differ from the meanings interpreted by the receiver.
Criticizing this perspective:
-only locates communication for individuals, ignoring the social context in which communication occurs.
- treats messages as if they are physical objects
- that successful communication involves 'meeting of the minds' this is not always the cade
Social constructionist model:
In a social constructionist model, people exist within, and perceive themselves and other through, the communicative practices of their cultures.
Communication is a process whereby people in groups, using the tools provided by their culture, create collective representations of reality. People belongs to groups, these groups share a number of common history, language, rules, signs. Because we share those elements we look around us and share this vision of reality. Example: a football club, all people that are involved understand each other. Sees the world the same.
-Symbolic coding: language
-Cognitive customs (beliefs, attitudes, and values)
-Shared roles and rules
Criticizing the model:
Places to much emphasis on the social self and not the individual.
The pragmatic model=
Communication consists of a system of interlocking, interdependent behaviors that become patterned over time
Systems of behavior. 2 people or groups start communicating, someone has to make the first move to start a communication, the other person replies, they start having a conversation. Interlocking means their connected, Inter depended: what person number 2 says depends on what person 1 said. You see what the mistake was in the conversation (wrong word, wrong topic) Pragmatic: practical, non theoretical. A religion is the opposite to pragmatic, logic. Starts at 0, zigzag. Difference between physiological is that this perspective no background information.
Communication between a doctor and patient, A is the doctor patient is B,C,D. How are these conversations patterned, look for similarity’s?
The cultural studies model=
Any given culture is, in fact, a web of interconnected acts of communication, much of which lies below the surface.
- TV and films
Criticizing cultural studies perspective=
texts are not always what they seem. Think carefully what public communication is actually saying or doing.
Communication can alert other people that our physical needs are not being met. For example: babies when they cry because they want attention or are hungry.
Communication is important for humans to survive because we are social creatures. People with good communication skills are better to adapt to stress and have less depression and anxiety. Communication can prevent physical problems.
Examples: influencing others, getting information we need or getting support. This helps us get things done.
Compliance gaining focusses on daily interpersonal interactions.
-Threatening punishment, negative consequences (grounding)
-Using expertise, seeks compliance by saying that one knows better because of experiences, age, education
-Liking, being friendly and getting someone to be positive before asking them for something.
-Debt, calling in past favours and saying that the person owes you something
-Altruism, claiming the person only wants what’s best for you, looking out for the person’s best interests
-Esteem, claiming the other people will think highly of you and if you don’t do it then they think less of you
Include needs that help us maintain social bonds and relationships. Use non verbal communication to see if someone is interested in you or not and then verbal communication to make conversation. Relationships contain maintenance.
The need to present yourself to others and be thought of in a type of way.
Linear models (also called transmission model)
One-way process, straight forward. From sender to receiver. This model consists of 5 questions:
- Says what
- In what channel
- To Whom
- With what effect
Noise. Anything that interferes with communication. That distorts understanding.
Feedback, response to a message. A receiver can also reply to the sender.
It depends on what system people are communicating in on how they communicate (at work, with friends/family, culture). Both senders and receivers are both defined at communicators. We orientated.
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