These question are on my disscussion board.
Question 1: The Intentionality Debate
West and Turner spend a bit of chapter 1 discussing the Intentionality Debate, which focuses on the question: Is all behavior communication? They take the position that "If everything can be thought of as communication--our verbal and non-verbal unintended expressions--then studying communication in a systematic manner is not only challenging, but also nearly impossible." They believe that there is a difference between communication and behavior. If everything is communication (including behavior), they suggest, then the term communication has no meaning.
Do you think that behavior such as not paying attention, crossing your legs and arms while engaged in a discussion, or even picking up and leaving to terminate the discussion is strictly behavior, or is it also a type of communication? For example, when Greta Garbo said "I want to be alone,", was she just describing behavior, or was she engaging in communication?
(In case you’re interested, this scene was taken from “Grand Hotel,” a 1932 American drama set in Vienna during the 1920s. Garbo, who was famous for this line throughout her life because of her reclusiveness, plays Russian ballerina Grusinskaya, whose career is one the wane. She is high strung and seemingly on the verge of a breakdown. For more on the film, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Hotel_(film).
In other words, do you agree with the authors of your text that we should draw a distinction between behavior and communication? Or is one a function of the other? For example: Do you think it is possible for two people to share a space and not communicate with each other? Why or why not? For the purposes of this class, we will be considering the transactional model of communication as the "best" model. Why is it the “best”? Why do you think the book includes the first two versions of a communication model? What do the three models teach YOU about communication?
Question 2: Aspects of Communication
In Chapter 1, West & Turner do a good job introducing five different aspects of what is going on when we communicate. Let's see if we can enhance our understanding of a couple of those terms.
1. Communication is social. Your book says that "it involves people and interactions, whether face-to-face or online." Can you think of a few more categories for the social patterns of human communication?
One of the greatest movie lines about communication was uttered in the 1967 film "Cool Hand Luke," starring Paul Newman. Newman plays a prisoner in a Florida chain gang who refuses to submit to the system by repeatedly attempting to escape. In this scene, the boss of the chain gang, played by Strother Martin, demonstrates that this behavior has consequences. Is there a failure to communicate when the receiver of the message refuses to behave as the sender of the message desires?
2. Communication uses symbols. Your book defines a symbol as "an arbitrary label or representation of phenomena." Explain a time when you did not understand a "symbol"--what was it, and how did you realize you did not understand what was being communicated? In the movie clip, what are the symbols that are used in this apparently unsuccessful transaction?
As you can see from looking at the first eight pages of West & Turner, communication is both vast and highly particular; ambiguous and exact. Begin to think about the challenges in studying communication. If you have any questions about these first 8 pages, please put them in the “Questions about this week’s material” section, flagging to me in the Subject line that you would like me to answer a specific question.
(For more about the film, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Hand_Luke).
Question 3: Traditions and Concepts
In Chapter 2, the authors discuss traditions and concepts of communication. Which of the seven traditions in the communication field most appeals to you? Why? Which of the seven concepts appeals to you least? Why? If you had to add another context of communication based on your experiences, what context would it be? How would you interpret the context to others? What examples illustrate your context?
Question 4: Theory and Research
The father of modern sociology, Kurt Lewin, once observed: "There is nothing so practical as a good theory." What do you think he meant? Do you agree or disagree? Can you think of a time when knowing a theory about something was useful to you? Why? Which of the three major approaches to knowing and understanding the world around you do you most subscribe to? Why? Give an example.
|Due By (Pacific Time)
||08/21/2014 08:00 am