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
Concern for ethics spreads across the objective-interpretive landscape.
Communication Theory (Critical Approaches III)
TRADITIONS OF COMMUNICATION THEORY
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?
BASIC PRINCIPLES – STANLEY DEETZ
of the potential
INTERPRETATION IS CRITICAL
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
PHENOMENOLOGY OF PERCEPTION
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
Things do not exist in and of themselves apart from how they are
known, people give meaning to things
Consistent with ‘phenomenology of perception’ but applies to
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
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
Hybrids are possible across traditions.
Ethical tradition is an addition
NCA ‘Credo for Communication Ethics’:
① Advocates truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason.
② Accepts responsibility for short-term and long-term consequences of
③ Strives to understand and respect other communicators before
evaluating and responding to their messages.