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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Adrienne B. Hancock, PhD (George Washington University)
Description: By presenting an integrated view of the communication processes, the author provides a broad presentation of why and how humans communicate.
Purpose: The author aims to provide a framework for an upper division capstone course encompassing the philosophical and scientific aspects of communication. While a course devoted to critical analysis and integration of previously learned concepts is valuable, the information in this book is presented at a rather rudimentary level and lacks the challenge of clinical application.
Audience: The author admits he uses this model for an introduction course, which seems more appropriate than for the advanced audience he aims to address in this book. Because the book adopts a broad perspective, portions may be appropriate and of interest to fields related to communication sciences and disorders (CSD).
Features: This book provides a clear and broad overview of human communication using the author's "unified model of communication disorders." Half of the book is devoted to addressing the key elements (i.e., thought, expression, reception) of this model. Also included is an overview of the discipline, philosophical and historical perspectives of CSD, and an overview of the research process. The writing and organization is logical and the book is easy to read. Considering that the material is intended for advanced readers, little novel information is presented and very few recent references are used.
Assessment: Although the material is accurate and presented clearly according to a schema of the "unified model of communication disorders," the level of critical thinking and analysis is not congruent with the title and author's stated audience of advanced students. Because one hardly needs a background in CSD to understand this book, it may be useful as an introductory text, particularly in related fields that do not focus on clinical applications of CSD. Overall, the book is very well written and arranged compared to introductory texts because the chapters highlight many aspects of human communication and introduce philosophical and theoretical perspectives in addition to the standard scientific facts.