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Communication Theory - Essay Example

His traditions include the rhetorical, semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetic, sociopsychological, and sociocultural traditions. Each of these are, for Craig, clearly defined against the others and remain cohesive approaches to describing communicative behavior (Communication Theory).
Functional theories are more compatible with the sociopsychological tradition than sociocultural tradition of communication. Functional theories and the sociopsychological traditions have many arguments in common. Functional theories such as structuration theory, argue that groups and organizations create structures, which can be interpreted as an organization's rules and resources. These structures, in turn, create social systems in an organization. Structuration theorists posit that groups and organizations achieve a life of their own because of the way their members utilize their structures. Power structures guide the decision making taking place in groups and organizations (Defining Communication Theories).
Social psychology, being the fifth tradition of communication theory, also conceptualizes communication as social influence and interaction. Every communication always involves individuals with their unique personality traits, social status, values, and emotions. How the individual act and communicate in any social setting is influenced by psychological factors. Such norms could be modified through time as individual influence each other through continued interaction, this usually happen without the participants knowing it. Influence can be essentially a transmission process from source to receiver. If, however, interaction reciprocally changes the participants and leads to collective outcomes that would not otherwise have occurred, communication becomes a constitutive social process (Craig). Whether conceived on a transmission or a constitutive model, the problem of communication from a sociopsychological perspective is how to manage social interaction effectively in order to achieve preferred and anticipated outcomes. This requires an understanding, solidly grounded in scientific theory and research, of how the communication process works (Craig). Researchers often prefer the functional approach in studying communication since functional approach pays attention on the outcomes of communication which can easily be measured. Functional approach also aims to explain how outcomes are being influenced by variables and processes that occur across a wide range of communicative situations. For example, certain cognitive processes and message characteristics may help to explain the efficiency with which information is gained from communication, whether in the context of a political campaign in the mass media, the socialization of new members in an organization, a classroom lesson, or a group discussion among friends (Craig).

On the other hand, the Sociocultural, the sixth tradition of communication, derives from sociological and anthropological thought of the twentieght century. Scoicultural tradition is not compatible with functional theories since they are less in common. Sociocultural theory conceptualizes ...Show more
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Summary

Communication theories are often borrowed from other social sciences, while communication provides few examples of theories that have been exported to other disciplines. What is taught as communication theory at one institution is unlikely to be at all similar to what is taught within other communication schools…
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