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Communication Theory Exam Research Assignment (Term Paper Sample)


the task was to analyse and discuss a certain theory. The sample explores the various stages of development of the theory in close reference to other scholarly works based on the theory.


Cultivation Theory
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Communication Theory Exam
Communication makes part of the everyday activities and it is intertwined with the entire human life since there is nothing that can be done without communication. Therefore communication is central to the human life. Every aspect of our daily lives is always affected by our communication with others and also from messages we get from different people some of which we even don’t know. As an academician, I take my stand to be a critical scholar in the field of communication. The term critical here refers to tradition of critical theory, and as a critical scholar, to investigate the roots of [social] developments and examine their historic alternatives is part of the aim of a critical scholar through employing the use of theory, a theory which analyses society in the light of its used and unused or abused capacities for improving the human condition.
According to I.A. Richards who is one of the early English literary critic and author, he described communication that “communication takes place when one mind so acts upon its environment that another mind is influenced, and in that other mind an experience occurs which is like the experience in the first mind and is caused in part by that experience.” Critical scholars usually make themselves responsible to an established body of theory or knowledge. They belong to an association of scholars whose cumulative work reaches back for centuries. At certain point as a critical scholar, one may decide to add the body of knowledge or just modify some particular theories to best address human conditions without ignoring the cumulative achievements of their own fields of study Therefore as a critical scholar, my major drive is to impact positively to the community and the social world the essence of communication according to the theories learned. Scholarship are activities that work to shape the world and influence the course of history (Gordon, 20115).
As a critical scholar, my main area of interest is in social communication and social behaviours that works to have an impact on human relations, communications and interactions in their social settings. This can be achieved by exploring the interaction model of communication between different groups. The interaction model of communication describes communication as a process in which the involved participants alternate positions as sender and receiver and generate meaning by sending messages and receiving feedback within physical and psychological context (Schramm, 1997). Therefore this analyses communication as a two way interactive process to bring meaning between the parties involved like in a family set up. By doing this, it helps in solving the family issues which is one of my interest area like the parent-child interaction in a family set up. This model is more of interaction focused than message focused.
Another interest area in critical scholarly in communication is psychological context in communication which includes the emotional and mental factors in any communication encounter. Emotions stress and anxiety are some of the psychological influence that must be controlled in communication as the can affect our communication (Schramm, 1997). Therefore part of my area of interest is in such so as to find ways of eliminating such in any communication encounter.
On the social context of communication, it deals with the stated rules or the unstated norms in a social setting that guides communication. As a critical scholar I analyse such rules and norms within a social settings and explore more how they can be applied best to help communication have an impact to the intended recipient. This helps to strengthen human relations within a social setting. Interest in communication also has been greatly affected by the advances in technology which affected social communication to a greater extent. Therefore as a critical scholar in communication, I look unto such and analysed theories concerning such so as to bring a change in communication which can help impact positively the recipient of every communication (Gordon, 20115).
Cultivation Theory
Cultivation theory was developed by George Gerbner and his colleagues in the late 1960s and publishing their findings in the mid-‘70s. The concept of cultivation theory developed into the exploration of how general television viewing habits would cultivate perceptions about real world violence. The investigation was done by comparing rates of violence that are portrayed on the televisions on the daily basis to the actual occurrence of the violence rate in the real world. These researchers found out that there was meaningfully more violence that was being portrayed in the television network than the actual occurrence of violence in the real world. After this, the researchers proceeded to survey the television viewers to study how the different magnitude of viewership by the television viewers affected how they perceived the real world violence (Gerbner & Gross, 1976). On their study they found two key effects.
The first effect Gerbner and his colleagues found out was “general television viewing cultivated the perception that the world is more violent than it actually is.” On a broader view this showed that the regular portrayal of a specific issue over the media has the potential of cultivating some perceptions on the viewers that the issue being portrayed happens the same way on the real world and they are convinced beyond doubts and takes in that as the reality of life. The report was made in their original findings and this same idea has been supported over time with a number of surveys that have been conducted since then on the same subject. The second effect that was found out was that the perceptions are differently affected depending on the hours and frequency of television exposure by the viewers. In their method of categorizing the different levels of exposure, they just categorized them on heavy viewers and light viewers (Dainton & Zelley, 2005). The heavy viewers were those who watched television for at least four hours a day and the light viewers watched for at most two hours a day.
The cultivation research focused on the comparison of perceptions across the different viewership levels. On the heavy television viewers that were analysed, they showed that they perceived the world as a more violent planet than the light television viewers. The light television viewers rated the world to be more violent just only on a number of situations. This their view was affected after watching some violent episodes on their television. Despite the history of using cultivation theory to predict perceptions of violence, the theory can be used to observe perception differences between viewership levels of any television genre (Dainton & Zelley, 2005).
Epistemological Disconnection
Epistemological connection is the framework of understanding psychological development of theories and knowledge. At the central of cultivation theory is the idea of regular viewing of certain behaviour on television will create a lasting effect on the side of the viewer which will result to a change in the viewer’s perception on that particular behaviour. This theory has been specifically applied in the study of perception of violence that is developed through the general television view. However this effect of perception of violence has been perceived to occur regardless of the observance of television by any individual. In recent years communication scholars have tried to enlarge the contextual usage of this cultivation theory outside violence to study some potential perception effects like sexual behaviours, substance abuse, health behaviours, body perception, family role and feelings towards mental illness which to some extent can be associated with such practices of television viewership (Hammermeister, Brock, Winterstein, & Page, 2005). According to this critics, violence perception can be attributed to some other factors like even physical fighting’s that are observed in the society. Therefore psychologically, cultivation theory is disconnected with communication critical scholarly because in communication scholarly, focuses on social communication and social behaviours that are generally brought about by human relations, communication and interactions. This therefore makes cultivation theory to be a less useful tool to communication scholarly since the focus of the theory does not apply.
Ontological Disconnections
The approach of cultivation theory took into account the number of genres that viewers were exposed to on a daily basis. They then narrowed down to violence genres which they could easily measure during the last ages when number of television network was less and the programs could be easily identified with their timings to know when the violence genres were aired. With the improvement of technology, there are a number of channels that the viewers’ watch fr...
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