UNIT 1 Critical Literacy, communication and Interaction 1
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UNIT 1 Critical Literacy, communication and Interaction 1



UNIT 1 Critical Literacy, communication and Interaction 1

UNIT 1 Critical Literacy, communication and Interaction 1




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UNIT 1 Critical Literacy, communication and Interaction 1 UNIT 1 Critical Literacy, communication and Interaction 1 Presentation Transcript

  • Critical literacy, communication and interaction 1 (GE3A)
    University of Aruba
    FAS: SW&D / OG&M
    September 1, 2009
    UNIT 1
  • Today’s program:
    Introduce ourselves
    Course organization & logistics
    Introduce the course, 6 units and framework
    Focus on Unit 1 of the course:
    Communication and Interaction, humans as social beings. Sharing and negotiation of meaning, interpretation and identity
  • Introducing ourselves…
    Welcome to our learning community!
    What do I mean with the concept of a learning community?
    We form a group (students together with instructor) who, for a while and motivated by common vision and will, are engaged in the pursuit of acquiring knowledge, abilities and attitudes. We inspire and support each other during this learning journey. We are building together our own learning environment
  • Core principles of LC:
  • LC Members:
    Let’s here each others voices, tell something about yourself and what you expect to learn from this course
  • Course organization & logistics…
    6 units
    A unit weekly
    Assignments (individual and team projects)
    Written Exam
    Reading instructions; core concepts etc
    Room for discussion, further questions (students can try to answer, I’ll give guidance)
    More information on the subjects (non-mandatory)
  • Link:
    More guidance:
    Module description
    Reading list
  • Framework: 6 Unit Themes
    Communication and Interaction, humans as social beings. Sharing and Negotiating meaning, interpretation and identity
    Making sense of the world and its codes. The meaning of Literacy
    The verbal code, Human Language
    Discourse as means for social action, constructing realities and persuasion
    Stepping into the cultural dimension. Intercultural communication and its contexts
    New literacies for the 21st century and our globalizing world. New ways of reading and what it means to be media literate
  • Communication and Interaction,
    UNIT 1
    Communication and Interaction
    Humans as social beings,
    Sharing and negotiation meaning, interpretation and identity through codes
  • Objectives:
    To present a starting point for the understanding of human communication processes
    To explain the properties and dynamics of the communication process
    To approach the communication process in a contextual manner
    To try to make the ‘intangible’ communication process more ‘tangible’ by focusing on the different components of the process
    To translate the communication process in terms of transactions of ‘codes’
    To relate communication with the concept of identity
    (To explain the meaning of effective communication and communicative competence beginning of UNIT 2)
  • Communicationto be human
    Human communication -the ability to symbolize and use language- separates humans from animals!
    Communication with others is the essence of what means to be human!
    We conduct a life through
    We define ourselves
    Is a vehicle; to initiate,
    to maintain and to terminate
  • Etymology 
    = the study of the history of words and how their form and meaning have changed over time:
    Communication: from the Latin "communicare“ literally means "to put in common", “to share". The term originally meant sharing of tangible things; food, land, goods, andproperty.
    ‘ to put in common’
    ‘to share’
  • Humans are social beings
    Our essence being social
    The world is web of relationships:
    So, communication has a social function!
  • Why do we communicate?
    Biological motives (nurturing a child, helpless, need of attention, need for security)
    Interpersonal motives (one’s identity shapes and re-shapes itself through interaction with other and the world)
    Social/sociotal motives (societies are based on cooperation networks in the broadest sense of the word)
  • So many definitions…
    Different, numerous, depending on what perspective you choose!
    holistic approach properties of communication, rather than 1 definition.
    And when we refer to ‘communication’ in a certain context, we will use the lasso technique and define the perspective and properties we choose to focus on!
  • 8 properties/definitions:
    Interactive - Transactive
    Intentional – unintentional?
    Ubiquitous (omnipresent)
  • Dynamic process
    Ongoing, ever-changing, and continuous
    Doesn’t have a specific beginning or endpoint
    Not static, always moving, change
    analogy: human body is a process: it is always aging communication is always developing.
    For verbally their may be a beginning/end. Non-verbally is more intangible.
    it does not stop, is irreversible: it affects future communication
    Can’t be captured easily: flexible, fluid, adaptive
    Models, pictures, graphs give just a little help; ‘the dynamics of communication’ are impossible to replicate identically
  • Transactive-interactive
    It happens between people
    Active participation of people, sending and receiving, consciously directing: two-way flow
    Transactional implies simultaneously sending and receiving; negotiations
    Example: tell me what you did last weekend? See how I communicate with you, with my eyes and my face expressions, while listening to your story…
  • Ubiquitous
    Simply means that communication is everywhere, done by everyone, all the time. Whenever one goes there is communication happening
    “ one cannot not communicate” (Watzlawick et.al)
    Ok, let’s get philosophical, what does this mean?
    “ one cannot not communicate”
  • Logic of this argument:
    Behavior has no opposite, one cannot not behave in an interactional setting.
    All behavior has informational (message) value, since behavior is informative, it is communicative
    And one cannot not behave, then one cannot not communicate
  • Communication is symbolic
    The fundamental difference between information and communication
  • Information vs. communication
    Everything that reaches our human senses is information. What ‘you’ use as information, depends on your needs, knowledge and experience
    Communication implies signals (example sounds and images) that are symbolic in their nature.
    Symbolic = an arbitrarily selected and learned stimulus that represents something else. They don’t have any natural relationship with what they represent.
    Symbols are the vehicle by which the thoughts and ideas of one person can be communicated to another person.
    Both verbal as non-verbal symbols are arbitrary!
  • (un)Intentional?
    Communication is intentional  people consciously engage in interaction with a purpose!
    Eduard: “ do you want to go tonight to the movies?”
    Sarah: “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea”
    Communication is unintentional  think about the statement: “One cannot not communicate?”
  • Purpose fulfilled?
    Effective communication implies that the purpose of a communication utterance was fulfilled!
    “Did he get my message?”
    “ I didn’t mean that at all, you misunderstood me completely”
    “ That Is precisely what I meant”
  • Communication is Contextual
    Communication is dependent on the context in which it occurs
    What is context?
  • Context (1)
    Refers to the setting, situation, circumstances, background and overall framework within which communication occurs.
    example, study the following picture, and imagine the context where the communication process takes place:
  • “Girl talk”
  • Different contexts
    Psychical context: girlfriends talking to each other after class, in the university’s beautiful garden
    Social context: friend to friend (relationship)
    Psychological context: each girlfriend’s thoughts and emotions
  • Context (2)
    A world filled with people producing communication utterances: people who have social, cultural and personal identities, knowledge, beliefs, goals and wants, and who interact with one another in various socially and culturally defined situations (Schriffrin, 1994)
    We can perceive this world as a frame (frames in frames) that surrounds the communication process
    Our meanings and understandings of a utterance are dynamic, and constantly re-adjusted in the progression of communication
  • Context (3)
    Dimensions of context are not fixed and immutable
    Instead they are dynamically and socially constituted by the communication processes themselves.
    Communication is constrained by context, but it also reveals, sustains, and provides context
  • Communication is cultural
    Culture shapes communication, and communication is culture-bound
    A specific context that influence communication: the cultural context
    This topic will be extensively elaborated in UNIT 5 of this course.
  • Can you grasp it?
  • Capturing the process
    Communication is a dynamic process! Now let’s try to ‘take a picture’ of this process; let’s try to capture it for the purpose of awareness, analysis and reflection.
    What components are involved in this process?
    Let’s visualize and appoint
    the components
  • Components involved in the process
    Sender & Receiver (continuous role switching) and their psychological personal world consisting of: accumulated knowledge, experience, attitudes, believes…
    Coding of message
    Decoding of message
    Multiple layers of context
    Negotiation of meaning  interpretation
  • We use a model to help capture the process
  • But models, just like maps, or frames only capture a specific aspect of reality: always keep this in mind!
  • Communication models
    When trying to capture the communication process in order to analyze it, models can be helpful!
    What is a model?
    =a systematic representation of an object or event in idealized and abstract form. The act of abstracting eliminates certain details to focus on essential factors
    = it is a metaphor. it allow us to see one thing in terms of another
    = is merely a picture; that is even distorting, because it stops or freezes an essentially dynamic interactive or transactive process into a static picture
  • Fiske, 1990
    Chapter 1 and 2 introduces the concept of communication models.
    Objective: to understand the functions of models and illustrate the range of this approach of communication theory
    Shannon and Weaver’s model (1949)
    Gerbner’s model (1956)
    Laswell’s model (1948): Who says what in which channel to whom with what effect?
    Newcomb’s model (1953)/Westley and MacLean’s model (1957) masscommunication
    Jakobson’s model (1960)
  • Examples of models (1):
  • Examples of models (2):
    Gerbner’s model: perception and meaning
  • Can these models capture new forms of communications?
  • Level of comm.process (comm.forms):
    Intrapersonal (e.g. processing information, reflecting)
    Interpersonal (e.g. a couple, friendly/formal conversation)
    Intragroup (e.g. family)
    Intergroup or association (e.g. local community)
    Society-wide (e.g. mass communication; magazine, TV, internet, radio)
  • The case of social media
    On what level is the communication process happening?
  • Negotiation of identities
    The ‘self’ (self-identity) is based on innumerable messages about the ‘self’ that the individual gets from the world.
    Relationships and the input (messages) they give us about ourselves, helps form (shape and re-shape) our identities.
    This is a continuous process
    Interpersonal communication plays an important role in the negotiation of identities
    But also the groups we want to belong to , we belong to or don’t belong to shapes our identities (social identity)
  • The ‘self’ In negotiation with others
  • Our identity…
    Identity is changeable, constant in a process of shaping and re-shaping
    Identities are observable; we communicate it in differ forms (our cloths, language we use, our behavior, communication is behavior
    Identities are a product of their time (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice characters vs. Facebook generation)
    We look for acknowledgements (bevestiging) in our communication with others.
    Our ‘self’ is reflected through the mirror that others put in front of us
  • Reflection so far…
    Please reflect on the interplay between the shaping of identities and communication.
    How does your own identity relate to communication? Can you describe how ‘you are’ in communication? How do you relate to others when communicating and what this says about your identity?
  • So far:
    Communication is a dynamic process
    We make sense of ourselves and the world we live in by negotiating meaning, interpretation and identities through messages
    Sender and receiver interactions are based on coding and decoding of messages. Messages are composed of codes
    Stepping into ‘the code’ zone…
  • Properties of CODEs!
    codes are systemized (language, sentences, words, alphabet, agreement upon meaning of arbitrary signs: A B etc.) (verbal/non-verbal codes)
    All codes convey meaning: they are vehicles for messages, ideas, rules
    Codes depend upon agreement amongst their user and upon a shared sociocultural background
    All codes perform an identifiable social or communicative function
    All codes are transmittable by their appropriate media or channels of communication
  • Bridging Unit 1 to unit 2:
    From unit 1- human beings are social, they communicate and make sense of their selves and their world through codes (messages, ideas, conventions, rules etc.)
    Being Literate means here, being aware of and being able to deal with these codes (coding and decoding process)
    Next week’s theme deals with:
  • Theme next week:
    Making sense of the world and its codes
    The meaning of being ‘Literate’