PDF | On Mar 9, , Stephen W. Littlejohn and others published Theories of Human Communication. Encyclopedia of communication theory / Stephen W. Littlejohn, Karen A. Foss, editors. p. cm. Includes . Speech Theory of Human Communication. See. Buy or Rent Theories of Human Communication as an eTextbook and get instant #PDF Info. Fixed Layout. Read Anywhere Info. Read Anywhere % Offline.
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Littlejohn and Foss's book 'Theories of human communication' but lack a caite.info /virtualclassroom/chap5/s5/comm_theories/caite.info Download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd . Theories o f Human Communication is not the only text available on this subject, but it is the most senior. Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Stephen W. Littlejohn and others published Theories of Human Communication.
The set of conceptual terms identified becomes an integral part of the theoryoften unique to that theory. While many disciplines have undoubtedly benefited from adopt ing a communication model, it is equally true that they, in turn, have added greatly to our understanding of human interaction. These social scientists believe that humans cannot be understood apart from their relationships with others in groups and cultures. Neurobehavioral development of the human fetus. Indiana University Press. The change from intuitive sharing of actions and feelings in intimate affection- ate attachment to family and friends to mastery of the skills of a culture and its speaking is animated by growth of the brain with development of regulation of intentions and awareness in the left cerebral cortex. Epistetnohgical Foundations New York:
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The newborn infant: A missing stage in developmental psychology. Infant and Child Development 20 1: Innate intersubjectivity: Developmental Psychology 44 6. Homo imitans or Homo provocans? Human imprinting model of neonatal imitiation. Nelson, Katherine. Language in Cognitive Development: Emergence of the Mediated Mind.
The trans-species concept of self and the subcortical- cortical midline system. Trends in Cognitive Sciences Okado, Nobuo. Development of the human cervical spinal cord with reference to synapse formation in the motor nucleus. The Journal of Comparative Neurology Osborne, Nigel. Towards a chronobiology of musical rhythm. Exploring the Basis of Human Companionship, — Packard, Andrew. Contribution to the whole H.
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Do scientific explanations of human behavior take place without consideration of the humanistic knowledge of the observed person? This question is the central philosophical issue of social science and has provoked considerable concern and debate across disciplines in the academy.
Communication involves understanding how people behave in creating, exchanging, and interpreting messages. Consequently, communication inquiry makes use of the range of methods, from scientific to humanistic. H o w S c h olars W o r k Although standards vary from one academic community to another, scholars follow a fairly predictable pattern of inquiry and theory development. First, a scholar or group of scholars becomes curious about a topicsocial networking in cross-cultural relationships, lets say.
Sometimes the topic relates to something per sonal in the scholars own life. Sometimes it is an extension of what he or she has been reading in the literature.
Often a conversation with mentors or colleagues pro vokes an interest in a particular subject. Sometimes professors are challenged by questions that come up in class.
In thinking and working with a topic, the scholar eventually will identify a problem that requires investigation. The problem is always more than a simple theme. It is a puzzle, an unanswered question, or a difFiculty that cannot be resolved without further investigation. Sometimes problems emerge from the careful examination of information or data. In studying a number of texts, for example, a scholar may experience a puzzle of some type, which leads to a research problem for more systematic study.
Some times scholars see a problem in the difference between how people actually com municate and how various theories say that they should communicate. Frequently, scholars look for anomalies, differences, and contradictions among various accounts of what is happening or what should happen in a communication situa tion.
Also, scholars sometimes create problems by questioning predominant forms of thought and social relationships, showing how these common ways of defining things create damaging consequences that demand careful examination.
All of these instances can serve as starting points for fiirther research. While scholars are motivated to investigate interesting problems because they genuinely care about the topic, their professional advancement may depend on it as well.
They must develop their scholarly curiosity into research problems for their doctoral dissertations. They often cannot get pay raises, tenure, or promotion with out engaging in research and theory building.
Many other incentives exist as well, including the ability to get grant money, travel, be recognized as a leader in the field, earn awards, and so forth. While the theory-making process begins, then, with an individuals curiosity about a topic, it does not end there. The results o f reading, observing, and think ingof scholarly investigationmust be shared with others.
On the most informal level, scholars share their work with students. They may bring some of their latest work into the classroom as a lecture or basis for discussion, which can be helpful in refining ideas. Graduate students are aware of this, but undergraduates often do not realize that their professors test their theoretical ideas in classes. In the pro cess of preparing a lecture on a topic, the strengths of the conceptualizationas well as the weaknesses of the argumentbecome apparent.
Ultimately, a scholars work must go out for peer review. One of the first for mal tests of a theory is the convention paper. The researcher writes a paper and submits it to a professional association to be presented at a regional or national meeting. Most of these convention submissions are reviewed by a panel of peers. This peer review can help a scholar determine if he or she is on the right track.
Uni versities usually encourage professors to submit papers by agreeing to pay their travel expenses if they have a paper accepted. When a paper is given at a convention, the presentation permits at least two other forms of peer assessment. Often a designated critic delivers comments about several papers to the audience right after the papers are presented; this is the most formal kind of critique.
Less formal feedback consists of the corrmients that colleagues make after hearing the presentationduring the question-and-answer session following the paper presentation, in the hallway after the session, later that evening in the hotel bar, or at the airport.
Colleagues may continue the conversation about something presented at a convention via the phone or through e-mail exchange after the convention is over. Conventions are very valuable for scholars as an initial testing ground for ideas.
Not only do convention attendees have the opportunity to hear the most. Often a group of researchers will present various iterations of their work several times at conventions before they submit the work for publication. Two forms of publication are most valued in the academic community. The first is a journal article, and the second is a monograph, or book.
Literally thou sands of academic journals are published around the world. Every field, no matter how small, has at least one and usually several journals. A glance through the bib liography of this book will reveal several of the most important journals in the com munication field see also note One of the most important publications in terms of introducing theories to the field of communication theory is a journal of the same name.
Communication Theory. Indeed, if you scan the notes of each chapter of this book, you will see just how important this journal has become. But many other journals are also highly recognized, including, for example. Members of the communication field subscribe to these journals, use their con tents as background for their own research, and learn about the latest and best developments in the field. Usually, the articles in a journal are refereed, meaning that they are formally reviewed and judged by a panel of peers for quality.
Since only the best articles are published, the majority of papers submitted to journals do not appear in print. This rigorous form of review is the primary force establishing what is taken seriously within an academic community. Evaluation is always a matter of judgment, and consensus about the value of a piece of scholarship is rare. Just as a group of students might disagree about whether their professor is a good or bad teacher, scholars also dis agree about the merits of particular research and theory.
Regardless of how a par ticular journal article is received by reviewers and ultimately the readers of that journal, the essay is valuable for showing the history of research and theory in that areas, so the references and footnotes in essays are an excellent place to gain a sense of a particular area of the discipline you wish to research and what ideas are especially valued in that area.
Through this process of convention presentation and journal publication, the scholarship considered most interesting, profound, useful, or progressive bubbles up and forms the corpus of recognized work within the community of scholars.
As this work develops, various scholars begin to develop more formal explanations that tie the work together. Initially, these explanations may be mere interpretations of research findings, but as theorists give more convention papers and publish more articles on their work, the explanations offered by the other scholars involved in this line of research become more formal and codified.
Furthermore, critiques of the work emerge, prompting ongoing dialogues among scholars who offer varying perspectives on the body of work. After a group of scholars develops a line of research and theory in some detail by presenting numerous convention presentations and publishing journal articles, the scholars may publish a book that discusses the theory and its various permuta tions. In contrast to textbooks written primarily to help students learn the content of certain courses, scholarly treatises are published for the benefit of other scholars; such volumes serve as convenient ways to make available the results of a major research program.
And once a theoryor emerging theoryis identified and cod. One final level of publication forther elaborates a theory. After a group of scholars has established a name for itself, the scholars often are invited to write about and summarize their work in edited volumesbooks of essays written by a group of scholars about a particular subject. This form of publication is very useful because it helps students and professors access the current state of theory in a par ticular area of the field.
In the end, then, theories are made. Scholars label the concepts in the theory, decide what connections or relationships to feature, determine how to organize the theory, and give the theory a name.
They then use the theory to talk about what they experience. The creation and development of a theory is a human social activ ity: People create it, test it, and evaluate it. As a social activity, theory making is done within scholarly communities that share a way of knowing and a set of com mon practices.
Ultimately, the community of scholars or practitioners decides what works for them and what theories prevail. Because the communities vary tremen dously, they differ in what they consider to be valid and valuable. A theory widely adopted by one community may be rejected entirely by another. So creating a the ory is largely a question of persuading some community that the theory fits and has utility for its purposes.
A body of theory is really just a snapshot in time. It provides a brief glance at a moment in the evolving history of ideas within a community of scholars.
The body of theory that evolves helps members of the community to identify their primary areas of interest and work; it pulls them together as a community and provides a set of standards for how scholarly work should proceed.
The body metaphor is good because it captures the qualities of growth, change, development, aging, and renewal that characterize theory. The theories a scholar comes to respect and use in graduate school, for example, will not be the same set of theories she uses in mid career, and probably will not resemble very closely what is valued later in her career.
In chapter 2, we will define theory more specifically and discuss the particu lar processes at the heart of theory construction. University o f Chicago Press. For an overview o f m any theories o f com m unication, see Stephen W. Foss eds.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, For the im por tance o f the study o f diverse theories, see Robert T. D ance and Carl E. Larson, The Functions o f Human Communication: A Theoretical Approach New York: Theodore Clevenger, Jr.
Random House, , Miller, "O n Defining Communication: Another Slab," Journal o f Communication 16 Cummings, John B. Hoben, English Com munication at Colgate Re-examined. Dance, The C oncept o f Com m unication," Peter A.
See, for example, David Beard ed. Barnett Pearce and Karen A. Theory and Research, ed. G ordon L. D ahnke and G len W. Clatterbuck Belm ont, CA: Hayden, Southern Illinois University Press, This brief history is based on Jesse G. Delia, "Com m unication Research: A History, in Handbook of Communication Science, ed. Charles R. Berger and Steven H.
Sage, , See also D onald G. Ellis, Crafting Society: Lawrence Erlbaum , , ; Gustav W. Friedrich and D on M. The Com munication Discipline, in Teaching Communication, ed. A nita L. Vangelisti, John A. Lawrence Erlbaum , , ; John D urham Peters, ed.
Rogers, A History o f Com munication Study: A Biographical Approach New York: Free Press, The m ultidisciplinary nature o f the study o f comm unication is exam ined by Craig, Com munication Theory as a Field"; see also Stephen W. Comparative Essays, ed. Dance New York: T hom as W.
H oughton Mifflin, , v. The disciplinary status o f the field is addressed by Susan Herbst, Disciplines, Intersections, and the Future o f C om m unication Research," Journal o f Communication 58 For m ore about distinctions between com m unication theory in the U. Fred L. C asm ir Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Lit tlejohn and K aren A. Foss Thousand Oaks, CA: See D. Lawrence Kincaid, ed. Communication Theory: Eastern and Western Perspectives San Diego: Aca demic, ; Peter R.
Vietvsfivm the Helm for the 21st Century, ed.
Judith S. Trent Boston: The Asian Perspective Singapore: Asian M ass Com m uni. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Crass-Ciiliural Relations, cd. Virginia H. M ilhousc, Molefi K. Asantc, and Peter O. N w osu Thousand Oaks, CA: For sum m aries o f A santes work, see MoIefi K. Asantc, Afixxentricity: Africa World Press, ; and Molefi K. A Reader, cd. John L. Lucaites, Celeste M. Condit, and Sally Caudill New York: Guilford Press, , For M iikes theory o f Asiacentricity.
Asiacentric Critiques and Contributions, Human Communication 7 Craig, Com munication T heory as a Field. A nderson, Com munication Theory: Epistetnohgical Foundations New York: G uilford, , Craig, Com m unication T heory as a Field, Craig, Com m unication T heory as a Field, The process o f inquiry is described in Gerald R. Addison-Wesley, Miller and Nicholson, Commum'cation Ittguiry, ix. See also D on W. Stacks and M ichael B. Salwcn, Integrating Tlieory and Research: M ichael B.
Salwen and D on W. Stacks M ahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum , , A n excellent discussion ofscholfirship can be found in Ernest G. Tlte Needfor Ceneml Educa tion, ed. Prometheus, , ; Jam es L. The Need for General Education, ed.
Pro metheus, , See, for example, C. Cambridge University. Press, Jam es A. See also Kevin J. I, cd. Sec, for example, Charles R.
Chaffee Newbury Park, CA: For an interesting discussion o f the scientific nature o f comm unication research, see G lenn G. Sparks, W. Communication Theory 5 See, for example, Robert T. Fiske and Richard A. Shweder, Introduction: Pluralisms and Subjec tivities, ed. D onald W. Shweder Chicago: University o f Chicago Press, , ; Kenneth J.
Springer-Verlag, This position is developed in T hom as B. Farrell, Beyond Scicncc: C harles R. Craig cd. Publishing in journals is not an unbiased process.
Based on the p eer review process, the editors over all judgm ent, disciplinary trends and interests, and the like, som etim es very good essays are over looked and som e o f lesser quality are accepted. For an interesting discussion o f this process, see Carole Blair, Julie R. Brown, and Leslie A. Because theories arrange and synthesize knowledge, we do not need to start over again with each investigation.
The theories or organized knowledge of a field, developed by generations of previous scholars, provide a starting point for under standing that field. The term communication theory can refer to a single theory, or it can be used to designate the collective wisdom found in the entire body of theories related to communication.
Much disagreement exists about what constitutes an adequate theory of com munication. The theories included in this book vary in terms of how they were gen erated, the kind of research used, the style in which they are presented, and the aspect of communication they address. This diversity serves as a rich resource for developing a more thorough and complex understanding o f the communication experience. Each theory looks at the process ft'om a different angle, inviting you to consider what communication means and how it fiinctions from that vantage point.
We encourage you, then, to appreciate the multi-theoretical orientation that is the nature of communication theory. We have been talking around the term without really defining it. Uses of the term range from your theory about why Hurt Locker won an Oscar for best picture in to Einsteins theory of relativity. Even scientists, writers, and philosophers use the term in a variety of ways.
The purpose of this book is to represent a wide range of thoughtor theoriesabout the communication pro cess. Therefore, we use the term theory in its broadest sense as any organized set o f concepts, explanations, and principles that depicts some aspect of human experience?
Ste phen Littlejohn defined theory more technically as a unified, or coherent, body of propositions that provide a philosophically consistent picture of a subject.
They reduce experience to a set of categories and, as a result, always leave something out. A theory focuses our attention on certain thingspatterns, relationships, variablesand ignores others. This aspect of theory is important because it reveals the basic inadequacy of any one theory. In the field of physics, scientists seek one basic set of propositions that can explain all phenom ena in the universethe theory of everything.
Although physicists have not yet achieved this goal, most are optimistic that they will someday get there. This view of theory is unrealistic in the social sciences. In matters of human life, no single the ory will ever reveal the whole truth or be able to address the subject of investiga tion totally.
Theories are also constructions. Theories are created by people, not ordained by some higher power. When scholars examine something in the worid, they make. Thus, theo ries represent various ways observers see their environments; theories do not capture reality. Abraham Kaplan writes, The formation of a theory is not just the discovery of a hidden fact; the theory is a way of looking at the facts, of organizing and representing them.
As such it is better seen as the lens one uses in observation than as a mirror of nature. One observer sees a onecelled animal; the other sees an organism without cells. The first viewer stresses the properties of an amoeba that resemble all other cellsthe wall, the nucleus, the cyto plasm.
The second observer compares the amoeba to other whole animals, including ingestion, excretion, reproduction, and mobility. Neither observer is wrong. Their theoretical frameworks simply stress different aspects of the observed object. Any given truth can be represented in a variety of ways, depending on the theorists orientation. The teacher presents four boxes. In cach there is a pictureo f a tree, cat, dog, and squirrel, respectively.
The child is asked which one is difTercnt. A child wor thy o f second grade immediately picks the tree. The squirrel as easily could have been picked if the child had distinguished on the basis o f domesticity o r things we bought at the store.
O r the dog could have been picked because the cat, squirrel, and tree relate in a playful, interactive way. O r the child could have picked the cat since the other three are in the yard.
A theory offers one way to capture the truth of a phenomenon; it is never the only way to view it. Finally, theories are intimately tied to action. How we thinkour theories guide how we act; and how we actour practicesguide how we think.
In the world of scholarship, formal theories and intellectual practices are inseparable. D i m e n si o n s o f T h e o r y In this section, we describe four dimensions of theory: Although some theoriesusually referred to as quasi theo riesinclude only the first two, most scholars believe that a theory worthy of the name must have at least the first three dimensionsassumptions, concepts, and explanations.
Not all theories include the final piece; in fact, as we will see later, the inclusion of principles is somewhat controversial. Philosophi c al Assu m p tio ns The starting point for any theory is the philosophical assumptions that underlie it. The assumptions to which a theorist subscribes determine how a particular the ory will play out.
Knowing the assumptions behind a theory, then, is the first step to understanding that theory. Philosophical assumptions often are divided into three major types: Every theory, explicitly or implicitly, includes assumptions about the nature of knowledge and how it is obtained, what constitutes existence, and what is valuable. Looking for these assumptions provides a foundation for under standing how a given theory positions itself in relation to other theories.
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies knowl edge, or how people know what they claim to know. Any good discussion of the ory will inevitably come back to epistemological issues.
The following questions are among the most common questions of epistemological concern to communica tion scholars. Many believe that all knowl edge arises from experience. We observe the world and thereby come to know about it. But perhaps there is something in our basic nature that provides a kind of knowledge even before we experience the world. The capacity to think and to per ceive is cited as evidence for such inherent mechanisms. For example, strong evi dence exists that children do not learn language entirely from hearing it spoken.
Rather, they may acquire language by using innate models to test what they hear. In other words, a capacity for language exists in the brain a priori, before a child begins to know the world through experiencing it. To what extent can knowledge be certain? Does knowledge exist in the world as an absolutethere for the taking by whoever can discover it?
Or is knowledge relative and changing? The debate over this issue has persisted for hundreds of years among philosophers, and communication theorists position themselves in various places on this continuum as well.
Those who take a universal stancewho believe they are seeking absolute and unchangeable knowledgewill admit to errors in their theo ries, but they believe that these errors are merely a result of not yet having discov ered the complete truth.
Relativists believe that knowledge will never be certain because universal reality simply does not exist. Instead, what we can know is filtered through our experiences and perceptions; thus, theories evolve and change as well. To this point, Anatol Rapoport presents the following amusing anecdote about three baseball umpires.
The first umpire, w ho was a realist, remarked, Some is strikes and some is balls, and 1 calls them as they is.
Another, with less faith in the infallibility of the professional, countered with, "Some is strikes and some is balls, and I calls them as I sees them.
But the wisest umpire said, Some is strikes and som e is balls, but they aint nothing till 1 calls them. The first case represents knowledge as certain or absolute awaiting discovery. The third umpire suggests the relativist positionnothing is certain until it is labeled; the label plays a large part in determining what that something is.
The second umpire represents a kind of middle ground in terms of the nature of knowledge, a. By what process does knowledge arise? This question is at the heart of epistemology because the kind of process selected for discovering knowledge determines the kind of knowledge that develops from that process. There are at least four positions on the issue.
Rationalism suggests that knowledge arises out of the sheer power of the human mind to know the truth I calls them as they is. This position places ultimate faith in human reasoning to ascertain truth. Empiricism states that knowl edge arises in perception. We experience the world and literally see what is going on 1 calls them as I sees them.
Constructivism holds that people create knowl edge in order to function pragmatically in the worldthat phenomena can be fruitftilly understood many different waysand that knowledge is what the person has made of the world They aint nothing till I calls them.
Finally, taking construc tivism one step further, social construction teaches that knowledge is a product of symbolic interaction within social groups. In other words, reality is socially con structed, a product of group and cultural life. Is knowledge best conceived in parts or wholes? Those who take a holistic approach believe that phenomena are highly interrelated and operate as a system. True knowledge, in other words, cannot be divided into parts but consists of general, indivisible, gestalt understandings.
Analysts, on the other hand, believe that knowl edge consists of understanding how parts operate separately. They are interested in isolating, categorizing, and analyzing the various components that together com prise what can be considered knowledge.
To what extent is knowledge explicit? Many philosophers and scholars believe that you cannot know something unless you can state it. Within this view, knowledge is that which can be articulated explicitly.
Others claim that much of knowledge is hiddenthat people operate on the basis of sensibilities that are not conscious and that they may be unable to express. Such knowledge is said to be tacit. Sign In Forgot password? Don't have an account? International Communication Association members Sign in via society site. Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.
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