Fundamentals of Communication Studies

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Wk 1: Overview of Communication
Communication
Communication is a systemic process in which people interact with and through symbols to create and interpret meanings.

Features/Aspects of Communication
1. Process
* Ongoing and dynamic (always in motion)
* Cannot freeze communication
2. Systems
* Interrelated parts (family, team) (part of the system)
* Embedded in larger systems (groups, industries, cultures) * Varying openness
* Extent to which a system affects and is affected by outside factors and processes * Seek equilibrium, or homeostasis
* BUT: Change – Internal, External
3. Symbols
* Abstract, arbitrary and ambiguous
* Representation of other things
4. Meanings
* Significance we bestow on phenomena, or what they signify to us * Content level (literal aspect)
* Relationship level (tone of message, what it signifies thereafter) * Command request, nature of relationship

Models of Communication
* Description of a system, theory or phenomenon
* An approximation of reality
* Explains the workings of a process
* In essence, to simplify a situation for us to understand better May be a graphic, diagram or even mathematical equation.

3 primary models of Communication:
1. Linear
2. Interactive
3. Transactional

1. LINEAR (Transmission, Bullet, Hypodermic Needle)

Noise source: anything that interferes with the intended meaning of communication

* One way direct transmission
* Usage of transmitter and receiver
* May have noise source that causes interference and disruption to transmission of message

2. INTERACTIVE MODEL (Change roles; feedback; fields of experience)

* Take turns, does not portray changing over time
* Sender and receiver do change roles
* Feedback occurs from receiver to sender
* Fields of experience are present (clarifies why misunderstanding occurs)

3. TRANSACTIONAL MODEL (multiple roles, simultaneous, change over time)

* Simultaneous communication
* Communicators: sender + receiver
* Participate equally and simultaneously

4. COMMUNICATION AS PERSUASION
* Usage of communication to reinforce, change or modifies an audience’s attitude, values, beliefs or actions. | Linear| Interactive| Transactional|
Way of xfer| One way| Two way, take turns| Simultaneously| Roles| Transmitter, receiver| Encoder, Decoder|
Noise| Noise Source present|
Feedback| | Feedback present|
Field of exp| | Field of experience Present|
Time| | Time Present|

Types of Communication
* Intrapersonal (with ourselves, e.g. thinking)
* Dyadic (one to one)
* Small group
* Public
* Mass (shared across great distances and time with potentially large audience) * Computer mediated (multiple flows)

Wk 2: Communication History and Perspectives
History of Communication Field
Classical roots: Rhetoric and Democratic Life
* Developed mid-400s B.C. in Syracuse, Sicily
* Present claims against deposed tyrants
* Develop speaking skills
* Central in Ancient Greece & Rome
* Plato (student of Socrates), Aristotle (student of Plato; rhetoric central to life)

Aristotle’s Three Pillars of Persuasion:
* Ethos (based on speaker’s credibility)
* Pathos (appealing to emotions)
* Logos (logic, reasoning)

Sophistry: specious or deceptive rhetoric
* Winning through trickery
* Specious or deceptive reasoning in argumentation

Central to Liberal Education
* Primary mission of US College Education in 1800s and 1900s * Rhetoric as practical art for civic life
* By 1900s communication began to include more than public speaking * John Dewey emphasized thoughtful and critical listening, citizenship * Progressive thinking

BROADENING THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATION
* Rhetoricians retained traditional philosophic approaches and concerns...
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