Rupanjal Dasgupta (NetID : rd499)
Ruben and Stewart, in their book, “Communication and Human Behavior” explores the different ways communication can be defined. Subsequently, it provides a single definition of communication, which is, - “Human communication is a process through which individuals in relationships, groups, organizations and societies create and use information to relate to environment and one another” (Ruben & Stewart, 2006).
As explained in lecture (DiDomenico, 2013), definition is a problematic activity because it is generalization of a broader topic. It is difficult to formulate a single, precise definition which takes into account all the different aspects of communication. The authors, Ruben and Stewart provide a general definition of communication which fails to encompass all the meanings associated with it. First of all, it does not explicitly state in the definition that communication can be of two types, verbal (including written) communication and nonverbal communication. Secondly, not all communication messages are best understood as information (DiDomenico, 2013). The definition given in the textbook states communication is the process of creating and using information. This is not fully true because communication is also a social activity. Finally, the definition provided by Ruben and Stewart also does not point out that communication involves the use of emotions and gestures. As example, it does not take into consideration that when a person is crying or nodding his or her head, he or she is indeed communicating in certain way.
Communication is actually a complex phenomenon. As Ruben and Stewart explains, “Whether one thinks of the goal of inter-cultural and international understanding, overcoming the high divorce rate, or reducing teenage smoking and substance abuse, the communication challenges are daunting” (Ruben & Stewart, 2006). The communication skills needed to face complex
References: Ruben, B. & Stewart, L. (2006). Communication and human behavior. 5th edition. New York: Pearson. DiDomenico, S. (2013). Lecture notes, Rutgers University, 09/10/13.