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Communication Resources: Communication Theory

General Communication Theory Sources

Web Resources

Communication Key Concepts


from Key Contemporary Concepts

The word ‘communication’ has its origin in the Latin communicare meaning ‘to share’, or ‘to be in relation with’. This links the term to community*.

Communication. (2003). In J. Lechte, Key contemporary concepts. London, UK: Sage UK. Retrieved from

Ideology: Topic Page

Set of ideas, beliefs, and opinions about the nature of people and society, providing a framework for a theory about how people should live, as well as how society is or should be organized. A nation's ideology is usually reflected in the political system it creates.

Propaganda: Topic Page

Systematic manipulation of public opinion, generally by the use of symbols such as flags, monuments, oratory, and publications. Modern propaganda is distinguished from other forms of communication in that it is consciously and deliberately used to influence group attitudes; all other functions are secondary.


From Key Concepts in Body and Society
Representation is a functional aspect of the media – within any communication the message is implicitly and explicitly shaped by a variety of influences: authorial preference, editorial vision, political climate, and socio-cultural context.

Rhetoric: Topic Page

In classical approaches to language, the study of effective or persuasive speaking and writing, especially as practised in public oratory.

Imagined community

From Key Concepts in Radio Studies
This refers to the sense of belonging to a defined community (including the nation), which radio and other media are able to foster among listeners.

Hegemony (Communications)

From Key Concepts in Media and Communications
Hegemony is perhaps the most enduring of the concepts contributed to media studies by the Marxian tradition, having survived the ‘post-Marxist’ intellectual fashions of the 1990s surprisingly well.

The Schramm Model of Communication

From Key Concepts in Marketing
The most commonly taught and widely used theory of communication is that proposed by Wilbur Schramm in the late 1940s. The Schramm model views communication as a process that takes place between a sender (transmitter) and a receiver: there will be also a message, and a medium through which the message can be transmitted.

MORE Theories and Theorists

Theory Authors
Action Assembly Theory    John Greene
Adaptive Structuration Theory    Marshall Scott Poole
Agenda-Setting Theory McCombs & Shaw
Anxiety-Uncertainty Management Theory    William Gudykunst
Attribution Theory    Fritz Heider
Black Feminist Thought Patricia Collins
Categorical Imperative Immanuel Kant
Classical Management Philosophy Taylor Webber
Co-Cultural Theory Mark Orbe
Cognitive Dissonance Leon Festinger
Communication Accommodation Theory Howard Giles
Communication Privacy Management Theory Sandra Petronio
Communicative Constitutions of Organizations Robert McPhee
Communitarian Ethics Clifford Christians
Constructivism    Jesse Delia
Coordinated Management of Meaning Pearce & Cronen
Critical Theory of Communication in Organizations Stanley Deetz
Cultivation Theory George Gerbner
Cultural Approach to Organizations Geertz & Pacanowsky
Cultural Dimensions Geert Hofstede
Cultural Studies Stuart Hall
Dialogic Ethics Martin Buber
Dialogics Mikhail Bakhtin
Different Voice    Carol Gilligan
Discourse Ethics Jürgen Habermas
Dramatism Kenneth Burke
Elaboration Likelihood Model Petty & Cacioppio
Existential Theory    Carl Rogers
Exitation Transfer Theory Dolf Zillmann
Expectancy Violations Theory Judee Burgoon
Face-Negotiation Theory Stella Ting-Toomey
FIRO Theory    William Schutz
Four Theories of the Press Not available
Functional Perspective on Group Decision Making Hirokawa & Gouran
Genderlect Styles Deborah Tannen
General Semantics    Alfred Korzybski
Goals-Plans-Action Model James Dillard
Golden Mean Aristotle
Groupthink    Irving Janis
Hierarchy of Needs    Abraham Maslow
High- and Low-Context Cultures Edward Hall
Information Systems Approach to Organizations    Karl Weick
Information Theory    Shannon & Weaver
Interact System Model of Decision Emergence    B Aubrey Fisher
Interaction Adaptation Theory Judee Burgoon
Interactional View    Paul Watzlawick
Interactive Universalism Seyla Benhabib
Interpersonal Deception Theory    Buller & Burgoon
Linguistic Relativity Sapir & Whorf