Communication theory

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Media studies communication theories

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Communication theory

  1. 1. Communication theory Media Studies Unit 1
  2. 2. Modelling behaviour <ul><li>It is nearly impossible to list all the different theories about how people have described the process of communication. </li></ul><ul><li>At it’s most simple we all know instinctively what the word means, but as soon as we start to think about it, things get complex. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>The philosopher Aristotle was the first to put down in words a definition of communication and his model can be seen in this simple representation. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Linear Theory <ul><li>Aristotle’s idea is simple and you can clearly see why it is put in the category of linear theory. As he defines it, the message to be communicated goes in a straight line from the speaker to the audience. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>This makes sense if you think about the time Aristotle lived in. </li></ul><ul><li>In ancient Greece, nearly all knowledge was communicated verbally, with great thinkers and politicians giving lectures to the people and having debates about ideas </li></ul>Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of The School of Athens , a fresco by Raphael .
  6. 6. <ul><li>This simple linear model was pretty much accepted as fact for the next few thousand years, even though in that time humanity moved from the spoken to the written word and then to the printed text in the industrial revolution. </li></ul><ul><li>These new ways of communication had effected the way humans transmitted knowledge, but it was hard to define in what way or how much it had done so. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Finally, with Radio and the Television at the birth of the modern telecommunication age, people started to question once again the way communication worked. </li></ul><ul><li>Shannon and Weaver, mathematicians from America in 1949, redefined Aristotle’s model to take into account the new technologies of the time. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Shannon and Weaver’s model <ul><li>In this model you can see how the concept of “noise” has been added to describe the way that communication sometimes fails. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Problems with linear theory <ul><li>What their model really does is show that the liner model of communication itself has some inherent problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of all the times in a day you have someone or something try to communicate to you. </li></ul><ul><li>List all the things that might get in your way of receiving that message. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Brainstorm <ul><li>Your list should have many things on it, but some of the most obvious are, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How you feel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your attention to the message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your knowledge about the subject or thing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your relationship with the communicator </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Berlo’s model tries to define all the stages of communication and list all the things that can effect it. But his linear model has become too complex to understand. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Non-linear or Structural models <ul><li>It is the relationship between sender and receiver that is the most important. </li></ul><ul><li>Nowhere in the linear models is the relationship between the sender and the receiver taken into account. </li></ul><ul><li>This led the way for a whole new field of research that began around the time the world was taken over by modern advertising. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>It suddenly meant millions of dollars to understand how to best convey your message to an audience. </li></ul><ul><li>One these new structural models was put forward in 1983 by a guy called Goss. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>This model takes into account the interaction between the sender and the receiver that results in a cyclical process of communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Once this new way of looking at communication began, lots of researchers began to make their own models. Remember, this kind of theory can make people lots of money. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Schramm’s model makes a Venn-diagram of the overlapping field of experience between sender and receiver. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>While Petterson in 1982 tried to take into account every conceivable factor that influences the relationship between the sender and receiver. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Even though this last model has become, once again almost unusable, it makes clear the inherent problem of the Structural Models, just as Berlo’s model did with the linear. </li></ul><ul><li>This leads us to the most current model of communication that tries to simplify the process made confusingly clear in Petterson’s model. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Representation <ul><li>The main idea that Petterson’s confusing model introduced was the concept that in any communication process there is always a Sender (source / speaker), there is always a message (representation) and there is always a receiver (listener / viewer) </li></ul><ul><li>It is this middle stage, the message itself and how it is encoded into a representation that is most important as it defines the relationship between the sender and the receiver. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>If you think back now to any advert you have ever seen, any movie you have watched or song you have heard, there is always a constructed representation of the world being shown. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers have realised that in trying to communicate it is how they depict reality that influences an audiences ability to connect and understand the message. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Culture Model <ul><li>To make it all seemingly simple once more, the current theory reduces all of the “noise” of the linear model and all of the inter-relationships of the structural model down to the concept of “culture” </li></ul>When Sprite links their brand name with Hip-Hop, they share the culture of their audience and so better communicate their message of “buy more sprite”
  21. 21. <ul><li>In our new global economy everything is for sale and everything is therefore competing for our attention. </li></ul><ul><li>Culture is no longer a simple thing to understand, in one city you may have up to a hundred nationalities and in each one uncountable sub-cultures who all identify with a different representation of reality. </li></ul><ul><li>So the question is, what effect does all this have on us as people and how do we make sense of it all? </li></ul>

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