Introduction to Communication Studies

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Communication is a systemic process in which people interact with and through symbols to create and interpret meanings.

Features of Communication (4)

- Process

o Communication is a process (on-going and dynamic)

- Systems

o Communication takes place within systems( system consists of interrelated parts that affect one another. Components of system,

▪ Elements of the system (people, environment)

▪ History of system

▪ Any change in the system may cause a change in the entire system( develop new patterns of interaction, subgroups realign and team performance changes.

o Systems are not collection of random parts, but organized wholes, system operates as a totality of interacting elements. As parts of the system interact over time, new elements of the system emerge. E.g. teams develop norms that regulate communication.

o Systems vary in how open they are. Openness is the extent to which a system affects and is affected by outside factors and processes( Mass media and communication technologies expand the openness of most societies and thus the influences on them and their ways of life.

o System strives for but cannot sustain equilibrium (homeostasis)( policies, habits. But no living system can sustain absolute balance or equilibrium. Change is inevitable and continuous( can be abrupt or gradual, can be prompted by external or internal factors. In order to function and survive, members must be able to adapt.

o Communication is also affected by the larger systems within which it takes place.(Even within a single culture, there are differences based on region, ethnicity, religion and other factors, therefore to interpret communication we have to consider the systems in which it takes place.

- Symbols

o Can be abstract, arbitrary, and ambiguous representations of other things.

- Meanings...
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