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Lecture 2

Week 2 Reading Notes

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CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

CMNS 110 – FALL 2012 WEEK 2 BOOK READINGS: pp. 1-15, 16-24 Conceptual Foundations: What is Communication? by K. Miller Communication as a process, symbolic, and transactional Communication is a Process – a process-oriented conceptualization of communication suggests that it is continuous and complex and cannot be arbitrarily isolated - Communication unfolds over time - “If we accept the concept of process, we view events and relationships as dynamic, on-going, ever-changing, continuous. When we label something as a process, we also mean that it does not have a beginning, an end, a fixed sequence of events. It is not static, at rest. It is moving. The ingredients within a process interact; each affects all others.” (David Berlo, 1960) - Simple interactions are influenced in complex ways by the past and will also have important implications for the future Communication is Transactional -- **we need to consider action and interaction models first Action Model – also called Hypodermic Needle Model or magic bullet model - Linear - One way approach to communication - Source presenting a message to a receiver or an audience - Suggests that communication is a simple process of injecting (needle) or shooting (bullet) our messages into receivers Interaction Model - Linear - Considers feedback or reaction of the receiver - i.e. conversation via laughs, nods, and gestures Transactional Model - circular model - the message can change - includes encoding and decoding in conversations - meaning may be lost or misunderstood - pick up feedback at different points - constant mutual influence of communication participants - “People are simultaneously acting as source and receiver in many communication situations. A person is giving feedback, talking, responding, acting, and reacting continually through a communication event.” (Burgoon and Ruffner, 1978) - Emphasizes the importance of context - Recognizes the inherent complexity of the communication process and will enhance our understanding of a variety of communication exchanges Communication is Symbolic -- **discuss concept of signs first Sign – consists of two inextricably linked parts – the signifier and the signified - A sign signals the presence of something else i.e. smoke means fire, tears mean sadness (imperfect) - Don’t necessarily have perfect matches Symbols – are not the proxy of their objects, but are vehicles for the conception of objects - Hold an arbitrary, rather than natural, relationship to what is symbolized, and a symbol has no inherent meaning - Symbols are developed through shared social experience and exist within a system of other symbols o i.e. bacon, pepperoni, enchanted….with Carline! - Though symbols do not have single, correct meanings, those symbols can be seen as having purposeful and significant attachments to referents _____________________________________________________________________________________ Various Ways to Look at Language - Semantic – considers the links between signs and referents - Syntactic – considers the rules that govern language use (grammar, etc) - Pragmatic – looks at language in use; looks at the way in which we “do things with words” Conceptualizing Communication: Points of Divergence Communication as a Social Activity - Does communication involve two or more people (interpersonal) or can it occur within one individual (intrapersonal) - Communication serves as a social vehicle - Looks primarily at the pragmatic level – communication as a vehicle through which we are trying to do something; we seek to do specific things in communicating (rant, empathize, etc) - Through communication, we seek to have an impact on the people around us Communication and Intention - Idea of making communication synonymous with behavior - G.R. Miller  communication only occurs when there is clear intent on the part of the source to communicate - Motley  the source must have a receiver-based intention in order for communication to occur - Andersen  any behavior that is received counts as communication - Distinction among verbal messages, analogic messages, and symptomatic behavior o Symptomatic behaviors – exemplify behaviors whose source is something other than an effort to influence a receiver i.e. uncontrollable yawn o Verbal messages
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