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Are We the Blind Beggars?. The story of the blind beggars ‘seeing’ and elephant. Communication Scholars are like the blind beggars. There is no universal, uniform definition or structure of our discipline. Should there be?. History of Comm Studies. Three stages Antiquity—First Stage

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are we the blind beggars
Are We the Blind Beggars?
  • The story of the blind beggars ‘seeing’ and elephant.
  • Communication Scholars are like the blind beggars.
  • There is no universal, uniform definition or structure of our discipline.
  • Should there be?
history of comm studies
History of Comm Studies
  • Three stages
    • Antiquity—First Stage
    • Modernity—Second Stage
    • 2oth Century—Third Stage
  • Contexts
  • Traditions
antiquity first stage1
Antiquity—First Stage1
  • Rhetoric—name of Comm in the classical times
  • To Plato Rhetoric=Communicating Truth.
    • Truth is hard to find, only a few people can find it.
    • The job of rhetoric is to communicate that truth.
  • Sophists advocated relativism
    • Knowledge depends on perception.
    • Everyone interprets truth differently.
    • Rhetoric is the basis of what counts as the truth.
antiquity first stage2
Antiquity—First Stage2
  • Aristotle = Plato + Sophists + moral effectiveness.
  • He showed how rhetoric works as a function of ethos, pathos and logos.
  • He established cannons of rhetoric
    • invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.
  • He identified three types of rhetoric
    • Forensic (determining true/false)
    • Deliberative (policy discourse)
    • Epideictic (praise/blame)
antiquity first stage3
Antiquity—First Stage3
  • Plato, Sophists, & Aristotle studied rhetoric by observing speakers
    • emphasized persuasion.
  • Sophists demonstrated that anything that can be proved by logic could be disproved by the same logic.
  • A few hundred years later, Cicero and Quintillion theorized rhetoric.
  • In the 5th century, Augustine contributed to rhetorical theory.
modernity second stage
Modernity—Second Stage
  • The Emergence of the Scientific Method
  • Began around 1600
  • Bacon: The way we discover truth or knowledge is by the scientific method.
  • Descartes: Complemented Augustine, “I think, there fore I exist.”
  • Rhetorical/Comm theory at this stage lost its specific identity with the general body of scientific knowledge.
20 th century third stage
20th Century—Third Stage
  • Quantum jump to the beginning of 20th century.
    • Trickles assume the form of river.
    • Tributaries, currents—stream of events.
    • Third stage can be categorized as having SEVEN periods or waves.
third stage wave1 1900 1950
Third Stage: Wave1 (1900-1950)
  • The re-rise of rhetoric—focus on oral performance.
  • Speech teachers--“Poor cousins” in English Depts.
  • NAATPS forms in 1914 & publishes QJS in 1915
  • Research was scientifically oriented, though little was done until WWII.
  • Most teaching was based on Plato, Cicero, and Quintillion.
  • In 1925 Herbert Wichelns established rhetorical criticism following Aristotle’s categories.
    • He was interested in effects of public address.
    • He argued rhetoric was an art, not a science.
third stage wave2 1930 1960
Third Stage: Wave2 (1930-1960)
  • Communication emerges as a social science focused on media effects
    • Main centers: U of Chicago & Harvard
    • Funded by Rockefeller Foundation and Payne Fund
    • Influence: George Schimmel (1858-1918) who said, "Society, the core concept of sociology, exists through communication."
    • Scholars from various Soc. sciences
      • Used empirical method, theory-driven, objective, value-free and detached from its social implications.
      • Unified the quantitative research
    • NAATPS renamed SSA in 1945
3 rd stage wave2a 1930 1960
3rd Stage: Wave2a (1930-1960)
  • The Founding fathers
    • Harold Laswell, pol sc, five components of Comm
      • “who says what through which channel to whom with what effect”
    • Kurt Lewin, social psych, studied ways group members make well-thought-out decisions.
    • Paul Lazarsfeld, sociologist, used survey techniques to answer marketing questions.
    • Carl Hovland, exp. psych, studied persuasive effects of source-credibility.
    • Wilbur Schramm, considered real FF, established first doc program at UIL, Chicago, trained PhDs from 1950s thru 1970s.
3 rd stage wave3 1950 1970
3rd Stage: Wave3 (1950-1970)
  • Empirical Revolution.
  • In rhetoric, Aristotelian criticism continued
  • Shannon of Weaver's model of communication became popular
  • Berlo's Source-message-channel receiver model–process
  • 1969-SAA renamed SCA.
  • Scientific approach defined Communication theory—distinguished from Rhetoric.
3 rd stage wave4 1 960 1970
3rd Stage: Wave4 (1960-1970)
  • Turbulence in the field.
  • Shift from public address to INCO
  • Focus on communication ethics & media effects
3 rd stage wave5 1965 1980
3rd Stage: Wave5 (1965-1980)
  • New Rhetorics
  • Edwin Black
    • Publishes Rhetorical criticism: A study of methods.
    • Gives a death-blow to neo-Aristotelian criticism
    • Advocates multiple approaches to analyzing speech events
  • Shift from public address to INCO, comm. ethics & media effects
  • McLuhan, critical theorists, & postmodernists
3 rd stage wave6 1970 1980
3rd Stage: Wave6 (1970-1980)
  • Search for a new model.
    • Covering laws.
    • Interpretive rules
    • Open systems
  • “One cannot not communicate”
3 rd stage wave7 1980 today
3rd Stage: Wave7 (1980—today)
  • Ferment in the Field
    • Rise of qualitative methods.
    • Mainstreaming of critical and feminist theories.
    • Rise of performance studies and multiple subfields.
  • 1997 SCA renamed.
  • Intrapersonal
  • Interpersonal
  • Small Group
  • Organizational
  • Public Address/Rhetoric
  • Mass (RTV)
  • Intercultural, and more . . .
  • Recall the blind beggar story.
  • Communication scholars hold widely divergent views as to what communication is.
  • Robert Craig suggests that communication should be viewed as a practical discipline.
  • He identifies seven established traditions of communication theory.
1 the socio psychological tradition
1. The socio-psychological tradition
  • Communication as interpersonal influence.
  • This tradition epitomizes the scientific perspective.
  • Hovland & colleagues at Yale studied the relationships among communication stimuli, audience predisposition, and opinion change.
  • They explored three separate causes of persuasive variation.
    • Who (source), What (content), & Whom (audience).
  • They discovered that source credibility is vital to opinion shift.
  • Investigated two types of credibility—expertness and character.
    • Found expertness more important for opinion change but its effect didn’t last.
2 the cybernetic tradition
2. The cybernetic tradition
  • Communication as information processing in a system.
  • Norbert Wiener coined ‘cybernetics’ to describe the field of artificial intelligence.
    • ‘Feedback’ anchored this tradition.
    • Comm links separate parts of any system.
  • Shannon defined communication as information processing.
    • He defined information as the reduction of uncertainty.
  • Shannon’s model later appeared with Warren Weaver’s essay.
  • Weaver didn’t include feedback, other cybernetic theorists did.
3 the rhetorical tradition
3. The Rhetorical Tradition
  • Six features characterize the tradition.
    • Belief that speech distinguishes humans from other animals.
    • Confidence in the efficacy of public address.
    • Setting of one speaker seeking to persuade a large audience.
    • Oratorical training as central leadership.
    • Emphasis on power and beauty of language to move people.
    • Rhetoric was the province of males.
  • Tension between the relative value of theory and practice in the education of speakers.
4 the semiotic tradition
4. The Semiotic Tradition
  • Communication as signification through signs.
  • Semiotics is the study of signs
    • Saussure, Peirce, Richards, Barthes.
  • I. A. Richards was an early scholar of semiotics.
    • “Proper meaning superstition”.
    • Ogden & Richards’ Triangle of meaning.
  • Richards & Saussure theorized language.
  • But many in this tradition focus on nonverbal communication.
5 sociocultural tradition
5. Sociocultural Tradition
  • Communication as the creation and enactment of social reality.
  • Communication produces and reproduces culture.
  • Sapir & Whorf pioneered this tradition.
    • Hypothesis: The structure of a culture’s language shapes what people think and do.
    • Language is not a neutral conduit of meaning.
    • Reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed through language.
6 the critical tradition
6. The Critical Tradition
  • Communication as reflective challenge to unjust discourse.
  • CT stems from the German Frankfurt School, which
    • Rejected Marx’s economic determinism but embraced his critical outlook.
    • Questioned unjust distributions of suffering in history.
  • Critical theorists challenge:
    • 1. The control of language to perpetuate power imbalances.
    • 2. The role of mass media in dulling sensitivity to repression.
    • 3. Blind reliance on scientific method and empirical findings.
  • Critical theorists share a common ethical agenda that emphasizes solidarity with suffering human beings.
7 the phenomenological trad
7. The phenomenological Trad.
  • Communication as the experience of self and others through dialogue.
  • Phenomenology is both a philosophy and a methodology.
    • In this tradition, phenomenology is primarily a method.
    • It is retrospective sensemaking of lived experiences.
  • Gurus are Edmund Husserl, Martin Hiddegar, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean Paul Sartre
  • Theorists include Carl Rogers, Richard Lanigan, and Van Maanen.
8 the ethical tradition
8. The Ethical Tradition
  • Griffin adds this tradition, but I think is subsumed in the Critical Tradition.
  • Communication as moral interaction.
  • NCA recently adopted a “Credo for Communication Ethics,” which
    • Advocates truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason.
    • Accepts responsibility for short-term and long-term consequences of communication.
    • Strives to understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding to their messages.
  • These traditions reflect diversity of our field.