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The Developmment Of Comm Theories Essay

2642 words - 11 pages

THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNICATION THEORIES: A Critique Paper

Since the inception of communication as a discipline of knowledge, scholars have come up with many theories related to its components. In fact, the encyclopaedia of communication theories (Littlejohn, 2009) has identified more than 300 relevant theories, a testament that the field is already making a big wave in the academic arena. It has been a product of many minds converging into one vision – to enrich the communication field. However, it was not an easy road for these intellectual minds as they are confronted with issues that still need to be resolved. In this paper I will try to present first the rich beginning of ...view middle of the document...

The proponents of this school of thought are mainly Greek philosophers and historians ranging from Aristotle, Socrates and Plato. From their insights emerged the theory of Rhetoric. Ancient Greek rhetorians grapple with what constitute persuasive technique and skill (ibid., Iv). The views of Greek thinkers and philosophers concerning communication are some of the earliest recorded examples of communication theories (Frees 2012, 1029). Due to the insights of the aforementioned philosophers, rhetorical theory has developed to become a solid basis by which communication is defined in many sectors. Evidently, persuasion technique can be observed in various activities of our daily affairs with life – from politics, media and even our way of communicating to our friends and loved ones.
Apart from the religious and philosophical views, the emergence of theories can be classified in another context – the historical view. Three historical groups/institutions remain as the origins of prominent communication theories: the art of oratory speaking and writing, leading to rhetorical theory; major politico-economic transitions which stimulated social communication theories and, with the advent of mass media, theories of journalism and mass communication (Aesthetic Asymmetry, 2012) In its modern form today, rhetoric theory is interrelated with traditional forms of communication theory, e.g semiotics. Through the propagation of ‘text’ in print media or ‘images’ in visual media, which are both sign elements, the mass audience is able to be persuaded along cultural lines. John Locke (1632-704) is one of the leading personalities who studied semiotics.
On the socio-political scope, theories such as authoritarian, communist, development communication theory and social responsibility were formed to emancipate the people from tyranny and oppression. It can be noted prior this period the common people was deprived their rights to access information. But because of the persistent call for liberation and equality, people are freeing themselves as prisoner of the past. The media was urged to embrace cultural diversity, active audience participation and censorship. Consequently, the media’s role was to educate but not to inform the general populace.
However, the 20th century marked a dramatic shift in communication theory evolution. This was brought about by advancement in communication technology to spur the spread of journalism, radio and television. The stimulation caused by World Wars (WW1 and WW2) has led to the emergence of many theories in mass communication. In fact, this was the time where media effects theories seemed to appear collectively making it as the heyday of the communication theories. Some of the theories that transpired during this period are stimulus response theory, propaganda, agenda setting, uses and gratification and theory of uncertainty reduction. Most of the theories are catered toward understanding the mass media effects especially to...

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