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Seven Traditions in Communication Theories
Transcript of Seven Traditions in Communication Theories
The Practical art of discourse Symbolic Statements meaning and impact of texts 1 Social Exigency requiring collective deliberation and judgment Adjusting ideas to people and people to ideas Logic became separated from language.
Rhetoric became the means to communicate the truth once known. This split - separating content from rhetorical - contributed to the negative definitions of rhetoric that persist today. The art of rhetoric can serve to distract people from seeing
the whole picture focuses on SIGNS and SYMBOLS Communication is the application of signs to bridge the worlds of individuals The basic concept unifying this tradition is the sign, sometimes referred to as symbol, defined as a stimulus for designating something other than itself. There is onmipresent danger of miscommunication Argument: We do not use signs; rather they use us Most theories in this tradition are cognitive in orientation, providing insights into the way human beings process information Basis or causes of problems in Comm:
noise, overload, underload, malfunction or "bug" in the system Cybernetics is the tradition of complex systems in which many interacting
elements influence one another source, receiver, signal information,
noise, feedback, redundancy,
network, function, system There are Four variations of system Theory: Basic System Theory:
Systems are actual structures that can be analyzed and observed from outside. You can see parts of the system and how they interact. You can observe and objectively measure the forces among parts of the system Cybernetics:
Can also apply to General Systems. Popularized y Norbert Wiener.
Focuses on feedback loops and control processes, emphasizing circular forces,
cybernetics challenges the very idea that one thing causes another in a linear fashion General System Theory:
Originally formulated by Ludwig von Bertalanffy. This tradition uses principles to show how things in many different fields are similar to one another, forming a common vocabulary for communication across disciplines. Second Order Cybernetics
Observers can never see how a system works by standing outside the system itself
because the observer is always engaged cybernetically with th esystem being observed.
This means that whenever you observe a system, you affect and are affected by it.
In other words, what we observe in a system is determined in part by the categories and methods of observation , which in turn are affected by what is seen Vocabulary:
behavior, variable, effect, personality, emotion, perception, cognition, attitude, interaction Communication reflects personality, beliefs, and feelings, bias judgments;
People in groups affect one another Socio-Cultural Tradition Communication theorized as:
Reproduction of Social Order Addresses the ways our understandings, meanings, norms, roles, and
rules are worked interactively in communication. This tradition holds that reality is not an objective set of arrangements outside us but is constructed through a process of communicating in groups, society, and cultures. Sociocultural focuses on patterns of interactions rather than individual characteristics or mental modes. Knowledge is highly interpretive and constructed Vocabulary:
Society, structure, practice, ritual, rule, socialization, culture, identity, co-construction The individual is a product of society; every society has a distinct culture Problems of communication theorized as:
conflict, alienation, misalignment; failure of coordination Symbolic interactionism from the work of George Mead, emphasizes the idea that social structures and meaning is created and maintained within social interactions. There are a number of contributing lines of work within this tradition Social constructionism, or the social construction of reality investigates how human knowledge is constructed through social interaction and argues that the nature of the world is less important than the language used to name and discuss it. Sociolinguistics is the study of language and culture. Closely related to sociolinguistics The work of Luddwig Wittgenstein and his philosophy of language suggests the meaning of language depends on its actual use. Language as used in ordinary life is a language game because people follow rules to do things with language. John Austin refers to the practical use of language as speech acts,
the idea that when we speak we are actually performing an act CRITICAL TRADITION Discursive reflection Discourse Argumentative Reflective challenge of unjust discourse Problems of Comm. theorized as:
Hegemonic Ideology, Power,
distribution of wealth, control Vocabulary:
Power, ideology, oppression, consciousness, resistance, emanciation, control, equality 3 Essential Features:
1. seeks to understand the taken for granted systems, power structures, beliefs, and ideologies that dominate societies with particular interest on who is served by the power structures 2. uncovers oppressive social conditions and power arrangements in order to promote emancipation 3. Makes a conscious attempt to fuse theory and action. Such theories are normative and act to accomplish change in the conditions that affect society Variations in Critical Tradition Marxism the means of production in society determines the nature of society, so the economy is the basis of all social structure Language is also an important constraint in individual expression, for the
langauge of the dominant class makes it difficult for working class groups to understand their situation Max Horkheimer Theodore Adorno Frankfurt School They believe in the need for integration among disciplines - philosophy, sociology, economics, and history to promote a broad social philosophy or critical theory capable of offering a comprehensive examination of the contradictions and interconnections in society Characterized by a break with modernity and the Englightenment project. Believes in the end of Industrial society Rejects grand narratives of progress, elitism, puritanism. Favors pluralism, relativity, novelty Originated in the 1970s Is a postmodern branch w/c began in Birmingham England 1964 C.S. theorists are interested in the ideologies that dominate a culture but focus on social change from the vantage point of the culture itself Cultural Studies is decidedly populist in orienation while Frankfurt School has an intellectual bias.
CS places value on the marginalized and the Ordinary Poststructuralism Specific origins of poststructuralism are attributed to the 1966 paper by Jacques Derrida. Other famous theorists here are Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes, Richard Porty and Michel Foucault
Poststructuralists are concerned with the differences among people. Part of postmodern project but focuses on universalizing meanings determined by Structural constraints, condition, and stable symbols concerned with the differences among people rather than any grand narratives they may have in common POST COLONIAL THEORY Edward Said, "Colonizing creates "othering" which is responsible for stereotypic images of nonwhite populations all cultures are affected by the imperial process frm the moment of colonization to the present day Feminist Studies Movements securing the rights of women,
movements that end all kinds of oppression Offers theories that center women's experiences and to articulate the relations between the categories of gender and other social categories PHENOMENOLOGICAL TRADITION Semiotic Tradition is considered to be separate from reality Whereas in Phenomenological Tradition, interpretation literally forms what is real for the person. You canno separate reality from interpretation Variations:
1. CLASSICAL Phenomenology
Associated with Edmund Husserl, the
founder of modern phenomenology. Husserl's approach to P. is highly objective.
The world can be experienced w/o bringing your own categories to influence the process. 2. PHENOMENOLOGY OF PERCEPTION
In contrat, most P. subscribe to the idea that experience is subjective.
P. of perception is a reaction against the objectivist view of Husserl Maurice Merlau Ponty is the major figure here. For MP, the human being is a unified physical and mental being who creates meaning in the physical world. Human beings know things only through their own relationship to these things. For MP, things do not exist in and of themselves apart from how they are known. 3. HERMENEUTIC Phenomenology
- associated with Martin Heidegger Extends P. to communication What is real is what is experienced throug the use of language in context. Communication is the vehicle by which meaning is assigned to experience