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A perfect core text for introduction to communication or communication theory classes, Questions of Communication puts theory into context by using an accessible question and answer format — each chapter begins with a topical question and then shows students how different theories have sought to answer it.
N.B. Each chapter ends with "Reviewing Key Theories," "Testing the Concepts," and "You, the Researcher".
Introduction: "Why Study Communication?" Reasons for Learning the Ways of Knowing
Some Direct Talk about How Textbooks Are Written
The Doubting Game and the Believing Game
Stages and Types of Learning
Perry's Harvard Study
Belenky and Colleagues' Women's Ways of Knowing Study
Knowledge in an Ethical Framework
1. "How do We Learn About Communication?" The Importance of Questioning and Theorizing
Theorizing as an Everyday Occurrence
The Attitude of Availability
The Theory-Building Cycle in Communication
Science as Methodical Inquiry
What Do Communication Theorists Hope to Accomplish (Other Than Building Theories)?
Covering Laws or Rules?
2. "When Have We Communicated?" Theorizing Communication
Communication: A Cure?
Defining Communication Realistically
Communication: Continually Changing?
What Is a Process?
The Difficulties of Process Orientation
Mutuality and Transaction
Individualistic Approaches: One to Another?
Mutualistic Approaches: Both Sides Now?
Meaning is Processual
Meaning is Personalized
Meaning is Co-Constructed
Meaning is Multidimensional
Intention and the Definition of Communication: A Controversy
Models of Communication
3. "How Do External Contexts Affect Our Meanings?" Theorizing Contexts
Physical and Psychological Context: Nonverbal Life and the Theory of Immediacy
The Nonverbal Message System: How Is It Theoretically Important?
Physical Settings: Environment and Space
Social Context: Communicators and Technologies in Situations
Social Levels of Communication
A Communication Systems Model of Social Context
4. "How Do We Become Selves?" Theorizing Personal Experiences
The Assumptions of Experience
Sensing Self from "Who You Aren't"
Perception, Not Reception
Perception and Activity
Language In-Forms Personal Experience
The Centrality of the Symbol: The Language Bridge to Social Life
Inner Speech Theory
Linguistic Relativity Theory
Cognitive Organization and Planning
Action Assembly Theory
5. "How and Why Do We Create Relationships?" Theorizing Interpersonal Communication
"Ensnared" in Narcissism?
What Do People Need as Communicators?
Social Exchange Theory: Rewards
American Pragmatism: Social Contact
FIRO Theory: Inclusion, Control, and Affection
Relational/ Interactional Theory
Axiom 1: "The Impossibility of Not Communicating"
Axiom 2: "The Content and Relationship Levels of Communication"
Axiom 3: "The Punctuation of the Sequence of Events"
Axiom 4: "Digital and Analogic Theory"
Axiom 5: "Symmetrical and Complementary Interaction"
Interpersonal Perception Theory
The Source of Rules
Coordinated Management of Meaning Theory
Ethnomethodology: Uncovering Everyday Rules
Dialogic Meeting and a Philosophical Anthropology
The Person-Centered Approach
Hermeneutics and Productive Communication
The Theatrical Metaphor
The New Rhetoric of Identification
6. "How Do We Coordinate Our Actions toward Common Goals?" Theorizing Organizational Communication
Defining "Organization" is Tougher Than You'd Think
Management-Based Theorizing: Organizations Manage Their Members' Communication
Metaphor: The Machine
Research Assumptions: Quantitative Social Science
Organizations as Producers: Classical Management Theory
Organizations as Collections of Individual Needs: Human Relations/ Resources Theory
Systems-Based Theorizing: Organizations Contain Communication SubSystems
Metaphor: The Organism
Research Assumptions: Quantitative or Qualitative Social Science
Organizations as Sets of Roles: Structural-Functionalist Theory
Organizations as Both Causes and Effects: Structuration Theory
Discourse-Based Theorizing: Organizations are Constituted by Communcation
Metaphor: The Conversation
Research Assumptions: Interpretative/ Qualitative Social Science
Organizations as Conversations: Conversational Autonomy Theory
Organizations as Cultures: Organizational Culture Theory
Organizations as Sites of Power: Democratic Participation Theory
7. "How Do We Develop Cultural Flexibility?" Theorizing Cultural Communication
Culture: Basic Theoretical Concepts and Approaches
Borderlands and Border Crossings
High- and Low-Context Cultures
Theorizing about Cultural Dilemmas
The Role of Theoretical Critique
Articulation Theory: The Dilemma of Power
Feminist Theorizing and Muted Group Theory: The Dilemma of Gender
Afrocentric Theory: The Dilemma of Race
Kinds of Cultural Communication Theories
Emic Theorizing: Revisiting Organizational Culture
Etic Theorizing: Cross-Cultural Contexts
8. "How Does Rhetoric Change Our Minds?" Theorizing Persuasive Communication
Changing Minds and Minding Persuasion
Concepts from the Rhetorical Tradition of Persuasion
Classical Rhetorical Theory
Occasions for Rhetoric
Inartistic and Artistic Persuasive Appeals
Types of Artistic Proofs
Concepts from the Interpersonal Tradition of Persuasion
Persuasion as a Helping Relationship
Compliance Gaining Theory
Mutual Persuasion Theory
9. "How Powerful are Mass Media?" Theorizing Media Systems
Have Media Changed How We Make Psychological Sense?
Medium Theory: Media Extend and Change Our Senses
Medium Theory and the Human Sensorium
Have Media Controlled Our Cultural and Social Behaviors?
Shot with a "Magic Bullet"?
Two-Step and Multi-Step Flow of Influence Theorizing
Uses and Gratifications Theorizing
Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, and Critical Theorizing
Are Mass Communication and Interpersonal Communication Different Processes?
Spiral of Silence Theory
The Theory of Mediated Place
10. "When is the Effective Choice the Ethical Choice?" Theorizing Communication Ethics
The "Whether" Question
Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations for Ethical Communication Decisions
Beyond "What Works": Specific Theories of Communication Ethics
Marketplace of Ideas Ethics
11. "Why Does Communication Matter?" The Status of Communication Studies
Studying Communication in a Discipline, an Interdiscipline, or a Field--And Why Does It Matter?"
Studying Communication in a Disciplined Way
Communication Departments in Higher Education
Carving Knowledge into Slices: Who Decides?
Communication Studies Departments and Majors
A Healthy Discipline
Knowing Your Past: A Discipline That Charts Its History
Knowing Your Neighbors: A Discipline of Connections, Not Boundaries
Knowing Your Content: A Discipline with Core Concepts
Knowing Your Potential: A Discipline That Anticipates a Future