Gift Guide

Theories of Human Communication / Edition 9

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 01/26/2015
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 33%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 98%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $46.00   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   


THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION is considered the seminal text in the field. Littlejohn presents theories in a clear and accessible writing style while maintaining the high level of scholarship and analysis.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

This textbook provides a survey of communication theories from the classic and the contemporary period. An introduction outlines the role of communication theory and recommends the means of evaluating it; the conclusion describes how such theory is crafted. In between, chapters address topics in communication theory and contextual themes. System theory, signs and language, discourse, message production, reception and processing, social and cultural reality, experience and interpretation, relationships, group decision-making, organizational networks, and media are all covered. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495095873
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/26/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Littlejohn (Ph.D., University of Utah), is a conflict management consultant, mediator, facilitator, and trainer. He is consultant for the Public Dialogue Consortium and a partner in Domenici Littlejohn, Inc. Stephen is co-author of Moral Conflict: When Social Worlds Collide (Sage, 1997) and has written numerous other books and articles on communication and conflict. He was a professor of communication at Humboldt State University in California and is currently Adjunct Professor of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico. He has done research on mediation and conflict management for 19 years and has been an active mediator for eight. Stephen has been a consultant for such clients as the Waco Youth Summit, the Alliance for Constructive Communication, the City of Cupertino, Columbia Basin College, and Washington State University.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface     xiii
Foundations     1
Communication Theory and Scholarship     2
Defining Communication     3
The Academic Study of Communication     4
The Process of Inquiry in Communication     7
A Basic Model of Inquiry     7
Types of Scholarship     7
How Scholars Work     9
Notes     11
The Idea of Theory     14
Dimensions of Theory     16
Philosophical Assumptions     16
Concepts     19
Explanations     19
Principles     19
Nomothetic Theory     20
Philosophical Assumptions     21
Concepts     22
Explanations     22
Practical Theory     23
Philosophical Assumptions     24
Concepts     24
Explanations     25
Principles     25
Evaluating Communication Theory     26
Theoretical Scope     26
Appropriateness     26
Heuristic Value     27
Validity     27
Parsimony     27
Openness     27
So What Makes a GoodTheory After All?     28
Looking Forward     28
Notes     30
Traditions of Communication Theory     33
Framing Communication Theory     34
The Semiotic Tradition     35
Key Ideas of the Semiotic Tradition     35
Variations in the Semiotic Tradition     36
The Phenomenological Tradition     37
Key Ideas of the Phenomenological Tradition     37
Variations in the Phenomenological Tradition     38
The Cybernetic Tradition     39
Key Ideas of the Cybernetic Tradition     39
Variations in the Cybernetic Tradition     41
The Sociopsychological Tradition     41
Key Ideas of the Sociopsychological Tradition     42
Variations in the Sociopsychological Tradition     43
The Sociocultural Tradition     43
Key Ideas of the Sociocultural Tradition     43
Variations in the Sociocultural Tradition     44
The Critical Tradition     45
Key Ideas of the Critical Tradition     46
Variations in the Critical Tradition     46
The Rhetorical Tradition     49
Key Ideas of the Rhetorical Tradition     49
Variations in the Rhetorical Tradition     50
Expanding Contexts for Communication     51
Notes     57
Theories     63
The Communicator     64
The Sociopsychological Tradition     66
Trait Theory     66
Cognition and Information Processing     69
The Cybernetic Tradition     75
Information-Integration Theory     75
Consistency Theories     78
The Sociocultural Tradition     82
Symbolic Interaction and the Development of Self     82
Harre on Person and Self     83
The Social Construction of Emotion     85
The Presentational Self     87
The Communication Theory of Identity     88
Identity Negotiation Theory     90
The Critical Tradition     91
Standpoint Theory     92
Identity as Constructed and Performed     93
Queer Theory     93
Applications & Implications     94
Notes     98
The Message     103
The Semiotic Tradition     105
Symbol Theory: Susanne Langer     105
Classical Foundations of Language     106
Theories of Nonverbal Coding      108
The Sociocultural Tradition     112
Speech Act Theory     112
Kenneth Burke's Theory of Identification     114
Language and Gender     116
The Sociopsychological Tradition     119
Action-Assembly Theory     119
Strategy-Choice Models     122
Message-Design Models     126
Semantic-Meaning Theory     129
The Phenomenological Tradition     132
Paul Ricoeur     133
Stanley Fish     134
Hans-Georg Gadamer     135
Applications & Implications     137
Notes     141
The Conversation     147
The Sociopsychological Tradition     149
Managing Uncertainty and Anxiety     149
Accommodation and Adaptation     152
The Sociocultural Tradition     159
Symbolic Interactionism     159
Symbolic-Convergence Theory     162
Conversation Analysis     164
Face-Negotiation Theory     172
The Cybernetic Tradition     175
The Coordinated Management of Meaning     175
The Critical Tradition     180
Language-Centered Perspective on Culture      181
Co-Cultural Theory     181
Invitational Rhetoric     182
Applications & Implications     184
Notes     188
The Relationship     194
The Cybernetic Tradition     197
Relational Patterns of Interaction     197
The Sociopsychological Tradition     199
Relational Schemas in the Family     199
Social Penetration Theory     202
The Sociocultural Tradition     204
Identity-Management Theory     204
A Dialogical/Dialectical Theory of Relationships     207
Communication Privacy Management     212
The Phenomenological Tradition     214
Carl Rogers     214
Martin Buber     216
Applications & Implications     217
Notes     220
The Group     224
The Sociopsychological Tradition     227
Interaction Process Analysis     227
The Cybernetic Tradition     228
Bona Fide Group Theory     228
Input-Process-Output Models     230
The Sociocultural Tradition     235
Structuration Theory     236
Functional Theory     239
Groupthink Theory      242
The Critical Tradition     243
Applications & Implications     244
Notes     247
The Organization     251
The Sociopsychological Tradition     254
Weber's Theory of Bureaucracy     254
The Cybernetic Tradition     255
The Process of Organizing     256
Taylor's Co-orientation Theory of Organizations     258
Network Theory     260
The Sociocultural Tradition     262
Structuration Theory     263
Organizational Control Theory     265
Organizational Culture     268
The Critical Tradition     271
Dennis Mumby's Discourse of Suspicion     272
Deetz on Managerialism and Organizational Democracy     273
Gender and Race in Organizational Communication     274
Applications & Implications     277
Notes     280
The Media     285
The Semiotic Tradition     288
Jean Baudrillard and the Semiotics of Media     288
The Sociocultural Tradition     289
Medium Theory     289
The Agenda-Setting Function     293
Social Action Media Studies      295
The Sociopsychological Tradition     298
The Effects Tradition     298
Cultivation Theory     299
Uses, Gratifications, and Dependency     300
The Cybernetic Tradition     303
Public Opinion and the Spiral of Silence     303
The Critical Tradition     305
Branches of Critical Media Theory     305
Feminist Media Studies     306
Bell hooks's Critique of Media     306
Applications & Implications     308
Notes     310
Culture and Society     315
The Semiotic Tradition     317
Linguistic Relativity     317
Elaborated and Restricted Codes     318
The Cybernetic Tradition     321
The Diffusion of Information and Influence     321
The Phenomenological Tradition     323
Cultural Hermeneutics     323
The Sociocultural Tradition     324
Ethnography of Communication     325
Performance Ethnography     328
The Critical Tradition     329
Modernism     330
Postmodernism     337
Poststructuralism and the Work of Michel Foucault     342
Postcolonialism      343
Applications & Implications     346
Notes     348
Continuing the Conversation Theorizing Your World     353
Bibliography     356
Index     389
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)