The process of establishing meaning, found in all social situations, and hence a very wide-ranging concern of social scientists generally. Conventionally studied by social psychologists, semiologists, students of mass media , and linguists, communication studies has increasingly become established as a field of inquiry in its own right (for example in Communications Departments), and is often allied to cultural studies.
Communication occurs through at least five modes. Intrapersonal communication concerns internal conversations with one's self . Interpersonal communication concerns face-to-face interaction , such as that analysed by Erving Goffman, and often studies paralanguages such as body movements (see body language ) and spatial arrangements. Group communication involves the study of group dynamics , whilst mass communication involves messages sent from mass sources in mass ways to mass audiences, often to make mass money. A fifth and growing form of communication has been called extrapersonal communication and concerns communicating with non-humans: this could mean ‘talking to the animals’, but most frequently it refers to the way we communicate with machines, computers, and high technology (for example through video games or bank-teller machines).
Communications research often works from a simple model which asks ‘who says what in which channel to whom and with what effects?’ The resulting description of the ‘communication structure’ that exists in every (simple or complex) social system is sometimes criticized for depicting too linear a flow since feedback loops can occur at all stages of communication. Nevertheless, the central components usually involve senders (producers), messages (codes), and receivers (audiences). A distinction must also be made between the formal and actual structures of communication. The former is defined by publicly recognized social roles (such as the hierarchy of offices in a bureaucratic organization) whereas the latter refers to the structure of interaction as it actually occurs (which may include various forms of informal communication through unofficial channels).
The structure and effectiveness of communication can have substantial consequences for the functioning of social systems. This is well illustrated in the study of formal organizations, notably for example in research influenced by contingency theory , which often placed systems of communication at the heart of the analysis. See also content analysis ; critical theory ; cybersociety ; Internet ; language.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • COMMUNICATION — AVANT d’être caractérisée par son histoire, qui va s’accélérant à la fois dans le monde humain et dans la conception que l’homme se fait du monde humain et non humain, c’est par sa nature que la communication est caractérisée. Elle désigne… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • communication — com‧mu‧ni‧ca‧tion [kəˌmjuːnˈkeɪʆn] noun 1. [uncountable] the process of exchanging information or ideas: • Because some editors work in San Francisco and others in London, there is a greater need for communication in the decision making process …   Financial and business terms

  • communication — COMMUNICATION. s. f. Action de communiquer, ou l effet de cette action. Communication de biens. Communication de maux. f♛/b] On dit, Donner communication d une affaire à quelqu un, pour dire, Lui faire part de ce qui concerne cette affaire; et de …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • communication — com·mu·ni·ca·tion /kə ˌmyü nə kā shən/ n: the expression to another of information or thoughts through speech, writing, or gestures see also confidential communication, privileged communication Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster …   Law dictionary

  • communication — Communication. s. f. v. La participation que l on donne de quelque chose. Communication de biens. communication de maux. je luy ay donné communication de cette affaire. il en a eu communication. Il signifie aussi, Commerce, familiarité, &… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Communication!!! — Studio album by Leah Dizon Released August 20, 2008 …   Wikipedia

  • Communication — Com*mu ni*ca tion (k[o^]m*m[=u] n[i^]*k[=a] sh[u^]n), n. [L. communicatio.] 1. The act or fact of communicating; as, communication of smallpox; communication of a secret. [1913 Webster] 2. Intercourse by words, letters, or messages; interchange… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • communication — Communication, Communicatio, Participatio, Commercium. Faire communication de la découverte qu aucun a fait de ses complices et compagnons en quelque malice, Indicium edere. Par communication de langage, Commercio sermonis feras populorum linguas …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • communication — late 14c., from O.Fr. comunicacion (14c., Mod.Fr. communication), from L. communicationem (nom. communicatio), noun of action from communicare to share, divide out; communicate, impart, inform; join, unite, participate in, lit. to make common,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • communication — [n1] giving, exchanging information, ideas advice, advisement, announcing, articulation, assertion, communion, connection, contact, conversation, converse, correspondence, corresponding, declaration, delivery, disclosing, dissemination,… …   New thesaurus

  • Communication — (v. lat.), 1) die Verbindung zweier Dinge, z.B. einer Stube mit der anderen; daher: 2) (Bauk.), so v. w. Corridor; 3) (Kriegsw.), jede Verbindungslinie zwischen zwei strategisch wichtigen Punkten, z.B. Festungen; 4) alle Verbindungslinien, welche …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”