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The system and processes through which meanings are shared. Hence, communication is fundamentally a social phenomenon. And though communication is not particular to humans – cats meow and hiss, dogs bark, growl and bare their teeth, etc. – studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate that any other species shares the human capacity for language. That is, no other species shares our capacity to communicate through systems of external signs and symbols. Such signs and symbols can make up part of a larger message or argument, which may in turn form part of a text. Should this text then be disseminated, via mass media, to an audience wider than the original participants, then the process is more accurately described as mass communication.


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