• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Key Features:

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.

Communication as Vision
Communication as vision
Cava A.Finnegan

Communication theory suffers from iconophobia. In a field whose oft-stated reason for being is to teach people how to communicate better, our ideas about what constitutes “good communication” depend heavily upon a fear of images. Indeed, communication theory seems to subscribe to John Dewey's infamous dictum, “Vision is a spectator; hearing is a participator” (1927/1954, p. 219). We tend to assume that the purest, best communication is talk (or, second-best, its verbal stepsister, text). Talk is imagined as conscious, face-to-face, participatory, deliberative, engaged. Vision, by contrast, is imagined as unconscious or misleading; images are framed as dangerous, and audiences in this scheme can only be passive, unengaged, or duped. At best, the field of communication ignores vision; at worst, ...

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