Monday, 28 March 2011

Communication Theory (Part 2)

Following from the previous post I'll be looking at more forms of communication.

Rhetoric is a form of Constitutive communication in which the transmitted interacts with the audience, presenting them the information through some variety of media (images, film, text). Often this type of communication is used for propaganda but is limited by the fact that it can only be learned through practice and often is valid only in it's native culture and is ambiguous in context to begin with. Rhetoric has the power to change how a viewer might perceive signs as image without context are meaningless but if you apply context to them (often accompanying text) they can have power over the viewer. Rhetoric is sustained by communication as a social activity and in turn helps individuals dominate their opinion other others.

Socio-Psycological is a form of Constitutive communication in which the original sender of information or a message then interprets the receiver's opinion and how that resulting opinion effects the understanding of the message. This is basically understanding how people understand different forms of communication, obviously a person from a different culture may interpret a sign from another culture differently from how the natives would. This also goes for the English language in that often two words are combined to take on a new meaning such as Frost (thin layer of ice caused by condensation and cold weather) and Anti (opposite) are combined to make Anti-Frost which is a product to get rid of frost.

Socio-Cultural is a Constitutive form of communication in that is a definition of a person in terms of their cultural background, this does have it's limitations in that negative stereotypes can be built upon this such as all Asain people are bad drivers or all British people drink tea (if they're not down the pub having fights). Socio-Cultural communications the ability to recognise someone by their culture and looks at how people from each culture group interact and designate roles in their own society. This can have limitations in communication as something that is acceptable in one culture might offend another, which is why an understanding of one and other's is vital to learning to live in harmony of one another...or at least accepting there will be differences.

Critical Communication also falls under the Constitutive category of communication. This tradition is similar to a mixture of both philosophy and social science and is often used to uncover hidden truths about societies based on activity and behaviour. This form is most commonly used by the media to convey may types of information often in a platonic/neutral way but to also subliminally highlight key issues and is constantly questioning the validity of the information and the authority of who gave it. Very similar to a critical analyse a university student might do to uncover hidden meanings in an image or piece of text. This form does have it's limitations as sometimes it presents the opinion of the person or group analysing the subject matter/information rather than a complete neutral opinion.

Each tradition of communication has it's pros and cons and all are used by people, even when they don't consciously realise it and often with use more than one at a time to back up the flaws that other processes have. Along with body language, script and speech there are many ways in which people interact and communicate with each other for a variety of purposes but whats most important is the way that we do it. Perhaps in time research will discover new ways in which we interact with each other.

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