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ERIC Number: ED436011
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov-11
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Making Contact or Making Sense: Functional and Dysfunctional Ways of Relating.
Barbour, Alton
This paper speaks to the question of just what people in a human communication studies department do. The paper traces the study of communication historically, beginning with classical times in Greece and "impersonal communication," when the first formal education in communication was not theoretical, but applied. The paper points out that although some attention was given to arrangement, the emphasis was on logic, proof, and plausibility. Rhetoric which convinced and which got results was "good rhetoric." It also notes that rhetoric was tied to public oratory and was used in the formal schooling of Roman boys. The paper also states that during the medieval period, when the first universities were formed, rhetoric was one-third of the "trivium," an undergraduate education of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. According to the paper, that began to change in 1947 with the arrival at the University of Denver of Elwood Murray, a scholar who believed that it would be worthwhile to study and teach "interpersonal communication." The paper then considers the contributions of some scholars who came after Murray, such as Evelyn Sieburg and Gregory Bateson, and discusses one interpersonal variable, "confirmation." It concludes that some ways of relating are more satisfying than others: they are humanizing; they are individuating; and they are confirming. Making sense and making contact are not mutually exclusive. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A