Sunday, 22 January 2012

Communication Science and theories !

Communication is a study of part of human communication.  According to Berger and Chaffee, 'communication science' defined  as Communication science seeks to understand the production, processing, and effects of symbol and signal systems by developing testable theories, containing lawful generalizations, that explain phenomena associated with production, processing, and effects.

It is difficult to defining the field because the developments of technology that have blurred the line between public and private communication and between mass and interpersonal communication.

According to Mcquil the study of communication has to be interdisciplinary and must adopt varied approaches and methods.
For instance, studying the speaking style of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in an attempt to understand how he was able to become the leader of the civil rights movement is not, in our terms, an activity of communication science. But when the same scholar examines a large number of leaders of social movements in the hope of drawing a generalization about the relationship between communication style and effectiveness, the scholar is acting in the role of scientist. 
The key issue here is that science seeks to explain by developing general principles that can be used to account for specific events or classes of events. We ourselves are only engaged part of the time in communication science; much of our work is devoted to extra scientific concerns about communication activities and institutions in society.
 The scientists seek to predict and explain phenomena in addition to describing them. To accomplish the objective of explanation, theory is necessary. 
"What Communication Scientists Do," Berger and Chaffee offer a working definition of theory as "a set of constructs that are linked together by relational statements that are internally consistent with each other". Thus, theories provide a framework or model for explanations and predictions. The constructs included in them have to be defined "operationally" to enable testing them. 
In their view, agenda setting theory is a good example in that it can be measured—the hypothesis "that topics emphasized in the press would be topics people thing are important" was tested in the 1968 election campaign by McCombs and Shaw. 
According to Mc Quail  the study of communication has to be interdisciplinary   and must adopt varied approaches and methods.

Theories of communication
It provides the most basic and also most general ideas about mass communication with the particular reference to the many relations that exist between media and social and cultural life. 
There are different kinds of theory based on observation and logical argument. The main purpose of theory is to make sense of an observed reality and guide the collection and evaluation of evidence.
Theory deals with what media thought to be doing or not doing why they do what they do. There are five kinds of theory which are relevant to mass communication. These can be described as social, scientific, cultural, normative operation and every day theory.

Communication Pyramid

At each descending level of the pyramid indicated, there is as increasing number of cases to be found. Each level presents its own particular set of problems for research and theorizing.
There are several different kinds of communication network.

Below this level, there are even more and more varied types of communication network based on some shared feature of daily life on environment, an interest(music) need
—According to this criterion, mass communication involved several society wide communication process.