Topics: Communication Theory
Communication TheoryHuman communication is understood in various ways by those who identify with the field. This diversity is the result of communication being a relatively young field of study, composed of a very broad constituency of disciplines. It includes work taken from scholars of Rhetoric, Journalism, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, and Semiotics, among others. Cognate areas include biocommunication, which investigates communicative processes within and among non-humans such as bacteria, animals, fungi and plants, and information theory, which provides a mathematical model for measuring communication within and among systems. Generally, human communication is concerned with the making of meaning and the exchange of understanding. One model of communication considers it from the perspective of transmitting information from one person to another. In fact, many scholars of communication take this as a working definition, and use Lasswell's maxim, "who says what to whom in what channel with what effect," as a means of circumscribing the field of communication theory. Among those who subscribe to the transmission model are those who identify themselves with the communication sciences, and finds its roots in the studies of propaganda and mass media of the early 20th century.
Other commentators claim that a ritual process of communication exists, one not artificially divorcible from a particular historical and social context. This tradition is largely associated with early scholars of symbolic interactionism as well as phenomenologists.