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I feel like my head is a whirl of communication theories, with eight weeks of theory poured straight into my brain. I’ve learned a lot about specific theories, so I’m going to focus here on my top five take-awaya.
1. Communication is a BROAD topic and intersects many disciplines. It seems possible to address almost any topic or issue through a communication’s lens, or as our text suggests, an “almost infinite number of ways to frame a situation and to respond” (Littlejohn & Foss, 2011, p. 423).
2. Communication “best practices” are in a constant state of flux. What starts as the seed of an idea grows, shifts, is challenged, is improved, is scrapped, then comes back again. Case in point: Carl Rogers and empathy. I found the idea of the helping relationship to be compelling, timely, and worthy of further examination. Thus I was surprised when I read that his work fell out of favor after the 1970s only to find a later renaissance (Littlejohn & Foss, 2011, p. 253). (more…)
Giving and receiving good critique.
Well, I created this vlog based on the wrong week’s material; however, I think it’s a cool topic, so I’m leaving it up as supplemental material).
For this vlog, I illustrate the concept of hegemony as described by critical tradition and Marxist theory.
According to the text, hegemony can occur through the “subtle process of co-opting the interests of a subordinates group into supporting those of the dominant one” (Littlejohn & Foss, 2011, p. 394). I use the example of Special K promoting dieting through the co-opting of the language of the body acceptance movement, an anti-diet movement, specifically the anti-scale initiative of fat activist Marilyn Wann and her “Yay, Scale” (Mysko, 2013).
Littlejohn, S. W. and Foss, K.A. (2011). Theories of Human Communication. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc.
Mysco, C. (2013). The Wolf In The Cereal Bowl: How Special K And Other Companies Co-Opt Body Acceptance To Sell Body Shame. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.thefrisky.com/2013-09-04/the-wolf-in-the-cereal-bowl-how-special-k-and-other-companies-co-opt-body-acceptance-to-sell-body-shame/
As an overview of the material covered in the course, I created a Communication Traditions Matrix that organizes the theories covered in the text by tradition that can be accessed in the previous post. I find it of note that in less than eight weeks time we have considered over 100 different communication theories across the seven traditions.
I found each of the traditions compelling in a different way. At the beginning of the course, I would have predicted that Sociocultural tradition would be my favorite. This shot of my textbook of the beginning of this section demonstrates my interest:
However, now that I have completed the textbook, I find that I can find an argument for the use on each tradition. At the end of Chapter Three of our text, Littlejohn and Foss (2011) give us five points to consider regarding the traditions:
- Notice that no tradition contributes to every aspect of communication
- The traditions are not mutually exclusive.
- Despite considerable overlap, each tradition does have its distinctive character, and in some cases, the traditions even repel one another.
- As you switch contexts, different traditions become more or less valuable.
- Even though traditions do not distributes themselves equally across contexts, neither are they limited to a narrow range of concerns. (p. 68) (more…)