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University of Maryland Understanding of The Definition of Communication Essay

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University of Maryland Understanding of The Definition of Communication Essay

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Although the study of effective communication practices dates back to such ancient scholars as Aristotle and Cicero, communication as a separate field of study is relatively modern, propelled in part by interest in twentieth-century advances in electronic communications. Scholars look at particular combinations of people communicating with each other in specific contexts. Our readings this week in the Encyclopedia of Communication Theory tell us the resulting theories can be categorized according

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Week 1, Discussion 1.1 – Understanding Communication Contexts
For this activity, you will demonstrate your understanding of the definition of
communication. Before you tackle this exercise, please make sure you have
read the Week 1 course materials.
Objective: This activity is designed to help you understand the process of
communication that you will be exploring in your final project.
Background: Please begin this exercise by reading the following information
carefully.
Although the study of effective communication practices dates back to such
ancient scholars as Aristotle and Cicero, communication as a separate field of
study is relatively modern, propelled in part by interest in twentieth-century
advances in electronic communications. Scholars look at particular
combinations of people communicating with each other in specific contexts.
Our readings this week in the Encyclopedia of Communication Theory tell us
the resulting theories can be categorized according
to communication context:

intrapersonal communication focuses largely on our cognitive abilities;

interpersonal communication addresses the communication between dyads
and triads (two-three people);

group communication deals with small group interactions;

organizational communication addresses communication across
organizations;

public/rhetorical communication examines face-to-face communication to a
large group of listeners;

mass/mediated communication encompasses messages produced for mass or
mediated audiences; and

intercultural communication looks at communication among people of
different cultures.
Some researchers also specialize in gender communication, which focuses on
communication issues of women and between the sexes, health
communication, and computer-mediated communication.
Whatever the context, most scholars agree there are five
facets to communication that come together to define it as a social process in
which individuals employ symbols to establish and interpret meaning in
their environment.
Let’s see if we can collaborate on enhancing our understanding of these
terms!
Activity:
1. Meaning is what people extract from what researchers might call a
communication episode. What are some examples of situations in which
communication may succeed even without shared meaning?
2. Communication is social in that it involves people and interactions, whether
face-to-face or mediated. Can you think of a few more categories for the
social patterns of human communication?
3. Communication uses symbols, arbitrary labels or representations of
phenomena that are sometimes concrete in that they represent an actual
object, and sometimes abstract because they can represent ideas and
thoughts. Explain a time when you did not understand a “symbol” — what
was it, and how did you realize you did not understand what was being
communicated?
Complete your response by telling us some of the challenges that you see to
studying the elements of “communication.”
Make sure to connect your ideas to the course content that you were asked to
read by using American Psychological Association-style references. If you are
unfamiliar with that reference style, you can find examples at the following
link: http://sites.umuc.edu/library/libhow/apa_examples.cfm
References
Griffin, E. (2009). A first look at communication theory. (7th ed.). New York,
NY: McGraw-Hill.
Keyton, J. (2011). Communication research: Asking questions, finding
answers. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Severin, W. J., and Tankard, J. W. (2001). Communication theories: Origins,
methods, and uses in the mass media. (5th ed.). New York, NY: Longman
West, R., and Turner, L. H. (2010). Introducing communication
theory. (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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