The Theories of Communication
Theories of communication can be found in many fields of study. The area is often referred to in “Communications Theory” as a Group Communication Field or a Social Communication Field.
The origin of communication is that people want to communicate to feel good, safe, and respected. There were two main functions they wanted to share: asking for help and giving praise. People needed these functions because they were vulnerable, and no one in their group could provide them with these services. Over time the forms of communication evolved from words to pictures, and now we have the digital age.
5 Theories of Communication
1. Actor-Network Theory
This theory, also known as ANT, was created by Bruno Latour and Michel Callon in the 1980s. The main focus of this theory is to study the relationship between society and technology through the lens of action. For example, we use cameras that would not exist without the development of technology, which is used to document and save essential memories. ANT can be broken down into three main categories; social networks, modes of thought, and material practices.
2. Conversation Theory
Used by Geert Lovink in the early 2000s, this is a theory of communication that focuses on the physical nature of communication as opposed to the intentional nature of communication. This theory can be broken down into two categories; one is “the presence,” while the other is “the immersion.” The second category deals with time and space: it relies on the idea that certain groups have more access to specific spaces while others have more access to certain times of the day. During a peak presence, innovation takes place, and during a period of immersion, ideas begin to spread throughout society.
3. Visual Communication
According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, it focuses on the relationships between people to have a visual language. This theory doesn’t focus on words and the intentions behind communication; it focuses more on the image itself. John Caudwell created the idea itself in 1988 after he read a book by Marshall McLuhan called “The Medium is the Massage.”
4. Technical Communication Theory
Based on previous theories, this type of theory attempts to communicate in a way that engages both production and consumption: show because consumers need certain things and consumption because producers need to be funded by consumers. It is a way to find a balance between the two.
5. Social Constructionism
This theory is based on the idea that there is no objective truth and that all knowledge, facts, and data are constructed by society. Based on previous approaches, this one talks about how the community creates those theories and ideas through history. It also looks at who has access to these communication channels and for what purposes, like why an audience would construct something in a certain way.
Communication is an essential part of all human relationships. From birth to death, humans are constantly communicating with one another. Communication can be defined as a process in which one person or group transmits information to another through a shared system of symbols and signs. The communication process begins with someone who wants to share information and ends with someone receiving the info who can then make sense of what was said/written/etc.
According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, communication theory is an aspect of linguistics and sociology that links the two fields together. It explores the meaning between message and media, including sender, receiver, channel, and context.