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Traditions of Health Communication Theory

  • By: Marifran Mattson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

One way to organize health communication theories is by using the traditions for conceptualizing and problematizing communication, originally identified by Robert Craig in his constitutive metamodel of communication theory and extended by Chris Russill. This approach considers communication a practical discipline, suggests varied ways of constituting the communication process symbolically, and fosters discourse about communication by identifying ways that each tradition of communication theory can be used to engage with everyday practice and create spaces for argument across traditions. From this perspective, health communication theory is understood to emerge from and inform practical efforts. Each of the eight traditions is considered in turn, with an emphasis on its potential for health communication theory.

Rhetorical Tradition

The rhetorical tradition theorizes communication as a practical art of persuasive discourse. ...

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