ERIC Number: EJ833500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Reference Count: 32
Making Foundational Assumptions Transparent: Framing the Discussion about Group Communication and Influence
Meyers, Renee A.; Seibold, David R.
Human Communication Research, v35 n2 p286-295 Apr 2009
In this article, the authors seek to augment Dean Hewes's (1986, 1996) intriguing bracketing and admirable larger effort to "return to basic theorizing in the study of group communication" by making transparent the foundational, and debatable, assumptions that underlie those models. Although these assumptions are addressed indirectly by Hewes, the authors hope to show how consideration of dialectics in three assumptive areas can contribute to theorizing about group influence: (a) reductionism versus wholism, (b) predictability versus emergence, and (c) structure versus agency. The authors place each of these assumption sets on continuums to illustrate how they relate to the contrasting models. Then, they suggest implications of accepting or rejecting them for further theorizing and revision of the models. The authors close with questions about connectionist models that are relevant to the discussion about influence and for Hewes's vital agenda for communication generally and group communication specifically.
Descriptors: Group Dynamics, Communication (Thought Transfer), Models, Influences, Communication Research, Theories
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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