1 WHAT AM I LEARNING IN THEORIZING COMMUNICATIONS? Anna Teye COMM 280 Professor Amanda Gunn February 13, 2014 Peer Editor: Dyamone Hopkins What Am I Learning in Theorizing Communication? In our Theorizing Communications so far, we have been taught the foundation of Communication Theory and what it truly means to study and understand the discipline of Communication. Having never previously taken a Communication class, not only were all these theories and ways of perceiving how people communicate new to me, but I was also intrigued by how similar Communication was to my major, Women’s Studies. According to Em Griffin (2012), “Communication is the relational process of creating and interpreting messages to elicit a response” (p. 9). This definition implies that when people communicate with each other with the use of verbal or body language, signs, and unspoken or silent communication, the purpose behind these interactions is to convey a message to others in order to receive a reaction from others. However from the readings so far, I have come to an alternative understanding of the definition and the purpose of Communication. Communication is not only about the creation of messages between individuals and groups, but it is also a tool used by societies to reinforce cultural perceptions and to influence public thought. One of the main ideas that Professor Gunn and our readings elaborated on is that Communication and the ways we communicate are influenced by History, or in other words, are derived from the cultural, social, and political backgrounds of people and societies. As Professor Gunn put it, Communication has neither a beginning nor an end, but is rather constantly reproduced and perpetuated in
2 our daily interactions with others. The act of naming for example, according to Boismajian (1983), is a perpetuation of the historical perception that names are equivocal to a person’s “identity” or “worth” as a human being (p. 2). In Zerubavel’s (2006) reading, “conspiracies of silence” have been historically used in a variety of contexts, including the U.S. militaries “don’t ask, don’t tell” behavior towards homosexuality in the army, to oppress or “try to ignore” certain aspects of society (p. 4). In Allen’s (2011) analysis of the use of communication to portray power relations, she explains that her decision to not get her boss’s coffee was based on the generational oppression that the black women in her family had experienced when serving white people (p. 24). All of
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- Fall '11
- Communications, Expectation, Theorizing Communications