Ex: "Communication" occurs when Jack sends an e-mail message to Jill, or vice versa.
The problem with the action-view of communication
Ex: "Communication" occurs if Jack sends Jill an e-mail, and Jill replies to his e-mail.
Ex: "Communication" occurs if Jack and Jill, through their e-mail exchanges, both arrive at the shared understanding of what each person means when s/he says "I love you. "
A. SYMBOLS: A symbol is an object, movement, sound, picture, etc. that represents something other than itself.
Ex: A whistle represents more than a high-pitched sound; various hand gestures represent more than body movements.
B. MEANINGS: Meanings are what symbols represent.
1. Any symbol can have multiple meanings attached to it.
Ex: The color red can mean: hot, danger, or stop.
2. Any meaning can be represented by different symbols.
Ex: "Stop" can be represented by: the color red, the word STOP, or the open hand of a police officer.
C. PRESUMED INTENTIONALITY: Before we can treat another person's behaviors as meaningful (and therefore symbolic), we must first assume that the behavior was produced consciously and deliberately.
Ex: If you are at an intersection wanting to make a left-hand turn into traffic, and you see a car approaching in the opposite lane with its right-turn indicator light flashing...........you have to be sure that the right-turn indicator is intentionally turned on before you can interpret the meaning of that signal.
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Randy Y. Hirokawa
University of Hawaii at Hilo
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