applicationpaper#1 - COMM 3210 Due date Human communication...

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Due date: 10/16/07 COMM 3210 Human communication theory COMMUNICATION AS A PRACTICE (1) Explanation of Craig’s theory: Communication as a practice In the article “Communication as a practice”, Robert Craig reasons as to how and why communication is seen as a practice. He further explains communication as a practice consisting of two aspects: normative and conceptual. The normative aspect of practices focuses on the specific communicative culture that is created through members’ interactions with one another over time. Conceptual, on the other hand, explains practices in terms of structure and practicality – as a means of “coordinating, instructing, praising, criticizing, telling stories, or otherwise talking or writing about the practice” (Craig, 2006, p.39). Both aspects contribute to the general construct of communication as a practice. Communication as a practice can be explained through terms of language and its’ attributing meanings and functions. As a practice grows, a normative discourse is formed pertaining to the particular practice. Normative discourse is an essential component due to its’ importance in creating meaning and codes of conduct within a practice. Members cultivate certain ways of talking in order to describe the features and functions relevant to the practice. The specific discursive practices are constant in the sense that they are continuously being created, changed, and applied through interaction of members within a practice. (Craig, 2006). Normative discourse can be produced both informally – through members, and formally – studied professionally in order to elaborate and explain a certain practice. In addition to the importance of language within a practice is the significance of the set of activities a practice engages in. These activities include any event or situation in which messages are exchanged. Specific verbal and nonverbal ways of communicating are formed and learned during these activities, which eventually contribute to the culture of a practice. In order to view communication as a practice, groups must have a culturally meaningful way of communicating - there must be a “cultural concept of communication” in order for it to become a practice. (Craig, 2006). Once a practice is 1
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viewed as meaningful, members then become more aware of their communicative behavior. Communication can thus be seen as a performance in terms of good and bad. Consequently, individuals grow more conscious of their actions and language, creating metadiscursive practices. Metadiscursive practices are exhibited when members talk about talk. “These ordinary ways of talking about communication give the practice of communication the specific range of meanings that it has for us” (Craig, 2006, p.41).
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