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How do you define communication?

There is no one definition, but the definition you choose sets up the way you study it.


What is a social scientific theory?

A organized collection of ideas and principles that provide insight on some facet of human experience.


What are the dimensions of theory?

1) Philosophical assumptions
2) Concepts
3) Explanations
4) Principles


What is epistemology?

The study of how we know what we know, and how we can best learn what we need to know.


What is ontology?

The study of the nature of human beings and what it means to be human.


What is axiology?

The study of value. Axiology helps us to define what is good and bad, right and wrong. These values inform the structure, principles and interpretation of theory.


What are concepts?

Concepts are key terms within a theory that help us identify and explain what we are studying using a common vocabulary.


What are explanations?

Explanations tie concepts together by explaining the logical force (connections) between pieces of theory.


What are principles?

Principles are the propositions/precepts/guidelines that we can draw from theory. Principles identify a situation, its norms/values, and the range of possible actions.


What is the Hypothesis view of theory?

This is a traditional, often quantitative, view of theory that searches for true explanations.


What is the Lens view of theory?

The idea that theory is a lens through which we see things. It assumes theories are a way of perceiving and organizing data, rather than a definition of a True concept.


What is the Stance view of theory?

Believes that theory is a positional argument about the way the world is and how the world should be.


What are criticisms of Hypothesis theory?

1) Hypothesis theory does not pay enough attention to falsifying hypotheses.
2) Gives a false sense of security by presenting "truth" in an authoritative way.
3) It can suppress alternative explanations.


What are criticisms of Lens theory?

1) Theories are inconsistent in quailty
2) Undermines attention to pressing problems by focusing on "what works for me"


What are criticisms of Stance view?

1) Encourages researchers to see their perspective as reality.
2) Prescribes a priori solutions regardless of the available alternatives.
3) Does not draw attention to blind spots and personal bias.


What are Implicit theories?

Implicit theories are the theories we make up inside our heads in order to explain the world that we live in. They are anecdotal, not systematic.


What are Explicit theories?

Explicit theories are the product of research and scholarly pursuit. They are written down, evaluated, and critically examined. They are systematic, not anecdotal.


What are Burrell and Morgan's
"Two Axes"?

1) Left/Right--Subjective (reality primarily in our heads) to Objective (reality an external something to be discovered)
2) Up/Down--Regulation (world is stable thing you can study) to radical change (world is a thing that should change in order to better promote equality).


What is the Functionalist paradigm of research?

Functionalists see reality as both Regulated and Objective. This is the primary paradigm for most social scientific research. Sees human activity as an orderly and cohesive thing to be studied.
A problem oriented approach.


What is the Interpretive paradigm of research?

Sees reality as regulated and subjective. The world is what it is, humans are what they are, but their perceptions are highly individual and subjective. These theorists are trying to get inside our heads.


What is the Radical Structuralist paradigm of research?

Sees the world as Radical change (should be changed) yet also embraces an objective reality. Radical structuralists like to focus on policies and social structures, focusing on the inequality of existing structures.


What is the Radical Humanist paradigm of research?

Sees the world as Radical Change and reality as subjective. These theorist are aiming to free individual consciousness from the limiting constraints of social arrangements/ideologies on human development. It's about changing the individual, versus changing society.


What is the Cybernetic research tradition?

This tradition looks at things as complex systems, where individual elements influence each other to create something more than the sum of its parts. These systems are self-contained and all parts of the system are limited by their dependence on any other part of the system.


What is the Sociopsychological research tradition?

A tradition that studies the individual as a social being, like in psychology. It focuses on psychological variables, individual characteristics, personalities, traits, perceptions, etc.


What is the Sociocultural research tradition?

This tradition looks at culture in our society and the ways that communication creates culture. It tends to focus on dyads and groups, and looks at social constructed macro realities through daily micro interactions.


What is the Critical research tradition?

This tradition examines how power, oppression, and privilege are the product of specific communication processes in society.


What is the Rhetorical research tradition?

This tradition looks at the art of speech making, constructing arguments, and persuasive speech, through the five canons of rhetoric (Invention, Arrangement, Style, Delivery, Memory).


How does naturalization distort communication?

Naturalization shuts down conversation by making it seem as if a situation/position is from nature, and you can't argue against it.

This is part of the critical tradition.


How does neutralization distort communication?

Neutralization happens when a powerful person/institution shuts down conversation by behaving as if their data/information/facts are pure and untainted by humans. (Numbers don't lie.)

This comes from the critical perspective.


How does disqualification distort communication?

Disqualification happens when powerful people/institutions disqualify dissenting people from voicing their opinions for any number of reasons. This is done to retain power and to keep the hegemonic group homogenous.

This is studied in critical theories.