What does it mean to argue that communication is organizing? Or ritual? Or failure? What is at stake in choosing one metaphor or stance over another? What is gained and what is lost - for the field, for the theories themselves, and especially for humans communicating in everyday contexts? In Communication as…: Perspectives on Theory, editors Gregory J. Shepherd, Jeffrey St. John, and Ted Striphas bring together a collection of 27 essays that explores the wide range of theorizing about communication, cutting across all lines of traditional division in the field.
The essays in this text are written by leading scholars in the field of communication theory, with each scholar employing a particular stance or perspective on what communication theory is and how it functions. In essays that are brief, argumentative, and forceful, the scholars propose their perspective as a primary or essential way of viewing communication with decided benefits over other views.
Compares and contrasts different metaphorical views on the theory and practice of communication, challenging students to develop their own argument about communication theory; Promotes an alternative way of examining communication problems - through the engaged interplay of a diversity of positions - encouraging readers to think through contemporary problems and questions in the field; Compels readers to confront competing theoretical positions and their consequences head-on rather than outlining theories in ways that might separate them from their real-world consequences
Communication as… is an excellent textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on communication theory in the fields of Communication, Journalism, Sociology, and Psychology.
Chapter 1: Communication as Relationality
Communication as Relationality
Communication is a process of relating. This means it is not primarily or essentially a process of transferring information or of disseminating or circulating signs (though these things can be identified as happening within the process of relating). Instead, communication is the weaving and reweaving of visible and invisible four-dimensional webs, which constitute and reconstitute matter and ideation as humans, discourse, and other beings within a dynamic field of many forces. Such a conceptualization helps us out of the now stale debates of Western philosophy about the nature of communication.
Western philosophy from Plato through Derrida has repeatedly made the mistake of focusing studies of communication on the status of the word, sign, or symbol. The stream of conversation participated ...