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Theorizing Communication

Theorizing Communication
Readings Across Traditions

May 2007 | 544 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Theorizing Communication: Reading Across Traditions is the first collection of primary-source readings built around the idea that communication theory is a field with an identifiable history and has developed within seven main traditions of thought-the rhetorical, semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetic, sociopsychological, sociocultural, and critical traditions. These seven traditions are seen as such when looking at the works of communication theorists within the larger idea that conceptions of communication are socially and historically situated and that theories arise when scholars work to make sense of problems or difficulties that are encountered with their sociocultural environments.

The readings have been chosen so as to stimulate discussion about the idea of traditions as well as to provide grounding in key concepts necessary to the exploration of particular traditions. This collection is designed to move student readers beyond thinking that theories are something that simply exist and can or cannot be applied.

In addition to showing the history of each tradition, the selected readings also highlight contemporary interpretations, new directions, and/or hybrid approaches. Significant original introductions help to explain, locate, and complexity the readings. Each unit ends with suggested further readings as well as in-depth projects that help students apply and extend the unit's key ideas.

The volume is designed for a masters or an upper division undergraduate level communication theory class, but also has relevance for others who are interested in understanding the history and diversity of approaches taken to theory in the communication discipline. It can be used as a stand-alone text or to supplement a standard textbook.

Heidi L. Muller and Robert T. Craig
Unit I. Historical and Cultural Sources of Communication Theory
Introduction to Unit I
Rob Wiseman
1. Metaphors Concerning Speech in Homer
John Durham Peters
2. The Spiritualist Tradition
Armand Mattelart
3. The Invention of Communication
James W. Carey
4. A Cultural Approach to Communication
Projects for Theorizing the Historical and Cultural Sources of Communication Theory
Unit II. Metatheory: Communication Theory as a Field
Introduction to Unit II
Robert T. Craig
5. Communication Theory as a Field
Projects for Metatheorizing
Unit III. The Rhetorical Tradition
Introduction to Unit III
6. Gorgias
7. Rhetoric
Kenneth Burke
8. A Rhetoric of Motives
Sonja K. Foss and Cindy L. Griffin
9. Beyond Persuasion: A Proposal for an Invitational Rhetoric
Projects for Rhetorical Theorizing
Unit IV. The Semiotic Tradition
Introduction to Unit IV
John Locke
10. The Abuse of Words
Charles Sanders Peirce
11. What Is a Sign?
Ferdinand de Saussure
12. The Object of Linguistics
Roland Barthes
13. The Photographic Message
John Durham Peters
14. Communication With Aliens
Projects for Semiotic Theorizing
Unit V. The Phenomenological Tradition
Introduction to Unit V
Edmund Husserl
15. The Problem of Experiencing Someone Else
Martin Buber
16. Dialogue
Hans-Georg Gadamer
17. The Hermeneutical Experience
Briankle G. Chang
18. Deconstructing Communication
Projects for Phenomenological Theorizing
Unit VI. The Cybernetic Tradition
Introduction to Unit VI
Norbert Wiener
19. Cybernetics in History
Paul Watzlawick, Janet Helmick Beavin, and Don D. Jackson
20. Some Tentative Axioms of Communication
Annie Lang
21. The Limited Capacity Model of Mediated Message Processing
Niklas Luhmann
22. What Is Communication?
Projects for Cybernetic Theorizing
Unit VII. The Sociopsychological Tradition
Introduction to Unit VII
Carl Hovland
23. Social Communication
Charles R. Berger and Richard J. Calabrese
24. Some Explorations in Initial Interaction and Beyond
Albert Bandura
25. Social Cognitive Theory of Mass Communication
Marshall Scott Poole
26. The Small Group Should Be the Fundamental Unit of Communication Research
Projects for Sociopsychological Theorizing
Unit VIII. The Sociocultural Tradition
Introduction to Unit VIII
George Herbert Mead
27. The Social Foundations and Functions of Thought and Communication
Mark Poster
28. The Mode of Information and Postmodernity
James R. Taylor, Carole Groleau, Lorna Heaton, and Elizabeth Van Every
29. Communication as the Modality of Structuration
Deborah Cameron
30. Good to Talk?
Projects for Sociocultural Theorizing
Unit IX. The Critical Tradition
Introduction to Unit IX
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
31. The German Ideology
Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno
32. The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception
Jürgen Habermas
33. Truth and Society: The Discursive Redemption of Factual Claims to Validity
Stanley A. Deetz
34. Systematically Distorted Communication and Discursive Closure
Sue Curry Jansen
35. Paris Iis Always More Than Paris
Projects for Critical Theorizing
Robert T. Craig and Heidi L. Muller
Concluding Reflections

"The editors’ questions invite readers to connect to the theoretical arguments and assumptions within and across units and move toward connecting communication theory with lived experiences. The connection of communication to lived experiences and the ability of these experiences to inform communication theory are at the heart of Craig and Muller’s text."

David R. Novak
Clemson University

Great resource

Dr Carolyn Cunningham
Communication Arts Dept, Gonzaga University
October 26, 2011

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ISBN: 9781412952378