MIDTERM STUDY GUIDE - CONCEPTUALIZING COMMUNICATION What is...

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CONCEPTUALIZING COMMUNICATION – What is Communication? An exchange of meaningful symbols . o Can’t exchange meaning without them. Verbal and nonverbal. o We hope that meaning is shared. A process o An ongoing, systematic activity. Contextual o Interpersonal dyads, groups, media, etc. Who we communicate with and who we are alters the context of our methods. Communication is… An exchange of meaningful symbols . A process o An ongoing, systematic activity Contextual o Dyads, groups, media, etc. Contextual Levels of Communication : Intrapersonal : o Within itself…(intra) o Communication within a person. Talking to self, diary, etc. Thinking about other people, & processing information. o Researchers often study: Making attributions, forming impressions. How you weigh information. Interpersonal : o Communication with another (dyad). o Face-to-face or point-to-point. o Involves self disclosure, relational development/intimacy. Work friends v. close friends. Strategies used to keep it this way. o Researchers often study: Making friends, becoming intimate/falling apart; conflict; nonverbal messages.
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o ***families*** Small Group : o Interaction among three of more people. Pursuing some common goal (social or task). o Researchers often study: Group decision making (e.g., juries, work teams); group dynamics; peer pressure. Public : o Public speaking o One or a few individuals to an audience. Face-to-face but with a “distance”. Relatively one-way. o Researchers often study: Rhetorical devices used in speeches; imagery in pop culture. Organizational : o Communication among members of organization. o What makes an organization? Formal organizational structure (often large numbers of people). Formal and informal networks, rules, norms. o Researchers often study: Leadership; organizational culture; conversation networks; collaboration. Intergroup/Intercultural : o Between people of different cultures or groups! Interaction and identity influenced by group membership.` o Researchers often study: Ingroup/outgroup communication; language, ethnicity, gender, age group communication. Mass o Messages disseminated on large scale. Mediated (print of electronic). Typically professional communicators. Less immediate feedback. o Researchers typically study: Effects of TV on behavior/attitudes; role of media in society. Communication happens at multiple contextual levels!
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STUDYING COMMM AS A SCIENCE – Communication at UCSB : We seek an understanding of generalized patterns of communication variables (attitudes, behaviors, etc.) Relationships o What is related to what. o What causes what. Patterns we “know” in communication behavior : Compared to many Middle Eastern cultures, Americans stand far apart when conversing.
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