Communication Theory (Critical Approaches III)


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  • Robert Craig suggests that communication should be viewed as a practical discipline; theory is developed to solve real world problems.Socio-psychological Tradition Cybernetic TraditionRhetorical TraditionSemioticTraditionSocio-cultural TraditionCritical TraditionPhenomenological TraditionEthical TraditionCraig identifies seven established traditions of communication theory. Description, what questions do they ask about the process of communication, variations in field
  • We come to know the world as we engage in itHow you relate to objects determine meaningWe know the world through the language used to define and express world
  • Interpretation – Active process of assigning meaning to an experience. Involves going back and forth between experiencing the situation and assigning meaning to it.Semiotics – Interpretation is separate from realityPhenomenology – Interpretation literally forms what is real for the person
  • Edmund Husserl – Founder of Modern phenomenologyThrough conscious attention truth can be knownObjective - World can be experienced without the knower bringing their categories to bear on the process
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Concern for ethics spreads across the objective-interpretive landscape.
  • Communication Theory (Critical Approaches III)

    2. 2. PHENOMENOLOGICAL TRADITION • The perception of the phenomenon – object, event, condition • Phenomenology: intentional analysis of everyday life from the standpoint of the person who is living it. • The phenomenological tradition places great emphasis on people’s perceptions and interpretations of their own subjective experiences. • Actual lived experience is the basic data of reality • Phenomenological tradition answers two questions: • Why is it so hard to establish and sustain authentic human relationships • How can this problem be overcome?
    3. 3. BASIC PRINCIPLES – STANLEY DEETZ Knowledge found in conscious experience Language is a vehicle of meaning Meaning of things consists of the potential of things
    4. 4. INTERPRETATION IS CRITICAL Interpretation Phenomenological Tradition
    5. 5. PHENOMENOLOGY - VARIATIONS Classical Phenomenology Phenomenology Hermeneutic Phenomenology Phenomenology of Perception
    6. 6. CLASSICAL PHENOMENOLOGY • Truth can only been obtained through direct experience • We must be disciplined in how we experience things • In order to arrive at the truth, we must set aside our biases • Objects of the world present themselves through consciousness • Husserl’s approach highly objective • Objective
    7. 7. PHENOMENOLOGY OF PERCEPTION • Objective  • Human being is a unified physical and mental being who creates meaning in the world • We know things only through our personal relationship to things • We are affected by the world, but also affect the world by how we experience it • Things do not exist in and of themselves apart from how they are known, people give meaning to things Subjective
    8. 8. HERMENEUTIC PHENOMENOLOGY • Consistent with ‘phenomenology of perception’ but applies to communication • Reality is not known by careful analysis but by natural experience, which is created by the use of language • What is real is experienced through the use of language in context • It is in language that things first come into being and are • Communication is the vehicle by which meaning is assigned to experience
    9. 9. FENCING THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATION THEORY • These seven traditions have deep roots in communication theory. • They have been mapped with respect to the objective/interpretive dichotomy. • Hybrids are possible across traditions. • Ethical tradition is an addition
    10. 10. ETHICAL TRADITION NCA ‘Credo for Communication Ethics’: ① Advocates truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason. ② Accepts responsibility for short-term and long-term consequences of communication. ③ Strives to understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding to their messages.