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 11: Communication as Techné
Communication as Techné
Before communication is intersubjective connection, coordination, ritual, meaning, culture, or anything else, communication is something that people do. At its core, communication is a special form of action. To use an antiquated phrase, it is a practical art, or rather a set of practical arts. This holds true no matter what favorite example we use for that massive and ambiguous thing we call communication: it is true in conversation, in large-scale media systems, in human-animal interaction, and in the most subtle dimensions of encounters with others. Communication is, above all else, a techné. In this chapter, I will outline what I mean by techné and then offer brief historical, political, and philosophical arguments for its use as a defining metaphor ...