Skip to main content

Theories in action

Gradschool, Communication Theory class: we were grilled on the application of theories in everything at every turn. When trouble erupted in Thailand's Muslim south, we were required to analyze it using a communication theory. A major newspaper editor was fired and we set about combing pages for a theory that would best explain the circumstances around the sacking. Thank God Bangkok U has already released me or I will have been wondering which theory would explain the ongoing Red Shirt protests. I remember some of these theories (#3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12), and as I'm drafting a theoretical framework this week I have to consult texts which makes it easy for me to come up with my T13 today. Which ones are relevant to your experiences?

1. Critical theories a group of theories that seek to produce change in oppressive and otherwise undesirable practices and structures in society

2. Critical race theory examines how laws and legal institutions construct race and uses race as a critical perspective for questioning cultural views of justice and fairness

3. Dialectical theory the point of view that certain tensions between contradictory desires are inherent in personal relationships (this partly helped me understand my divorce better)

4. Dramaturgical theory describes, explains and predicts human behavior in terms of dramatic actions and settings

5. General systems theory claims that all living organisms are dynamic wholes that function as a result of organized interaction among parts

6. Muted group theory a feminist theory that claims that women have been silenced because men have had the power to name the world and thus to constitute experience and meaning

7. Narrative paradigm the point of view that humans are natural storytellers and that most, if not all, communication is storytelling

8. Rules theory the point of view that socially constructed and learned rules guide communication

9. Social exchange theory the point of view that in relationships people try to minimize costs, maximize rewards and ensure equity

10. Standpoint theory the view that the material, social, and symbolic circumstances of a social group shape what members of that group experience as well as how they think, act and feel

11. Uncertainty reduction theory the point of view that uncertainty motivates communication and that certainty reduces the motivation to communicate

12. Cultivation theory the point of view that television promotes a view of social reality that may be inaccurate but that viewers nonetheless assume reflects real life

13. Speech community theory the point of view that explains the communication styles of particular social groups with reference to the cultures in which members of the group are socialized

Source: Wood, Julia T. (2004). Communication theories in action, 3rd ed. Canada: Thomson Wadsworth.

Megan and Janet host Thursday Thirteen


Thom said…
Wow that is a lot of theories I tell you. I like the Rules Theory myself. :) I tend to disagree with the Muted group theory. Maybe years and years ago that was true but no longer. :)
Hazel said…
Thom, MGT could be the other way around now lol!
Hootin' Anni said…
This was VERY interesting. But I for one don't 'believe' theories. For instance, scientists theorize that animals [the four legged kind] don't 'enjoy' sex...when yet they also say the urge is there. Huh? There are so many theories that it's hard to construct any criticisms on any of them.

My 13 is posted, I do hope you can stop by sometime if you have time today. It's 13 catch phrases I really like. Have a glorious Thursday!!
jillconyers said…
I thought I would pick a favorite but they're all interesting in a makes you think kind of way.
Hazel said…
Anni, in an over dinner discussion I listened to a friend saying that humans are the only beings who copulate for pleasure. That probably is a supporting link to the theory that animals don't enjoy sex; but the urge exists because it's part of their biological set up. I did see dogs having sex and their faces look the same as they're patiently waiting for dinner, lol!

jill, they are, aren't they? :D
CountryDew said…
Whoa. I learned a lot reading this post. Almost had a little light bulb go off over my head a few times. Thanks so much for sharing this; I might have to look deeper into a few of those theories.
Hazel said…
CountryDew, it could be interesting for you if you did; I'm still learning them myself
I am Harriet said…
Kind of makes me want to get our my index cards to start memorizing :)

Have a great Thursday!
Hazel said…
Harriet, I remember those index card days... and these days we have cut and paste lol!
Kristen said…
#12 is most definitely something I see in some of my sons. Their perception of life is often influenced falsely by the media.
Alice Audrey said…
I tend to see the world through a dramaturgical perspective, though I don't subscribe to a narrative paradigm. I'm funny that way. :)
Hazel said…
Kristen, media influence is indeed quite strong; the effects could last a lifetime
Joe Klein said…
The General Systems theory speaks to me most. It explains religion and science. http://looseleafnotes.colm
Hazel said…
Alice, narrative - no, you don't :) ... because you're brilliant that way.

Joe Klein, now that is some combination!
Jewel said…
Waaa my head hurts! So many theories!!!
Hazel said…
Jewel, don't read them lol! they're gonna complicate excitement of the forensics you were spending time on :D
Those are making my eyes cross and my brain do back flips. I never was any good at theory!
Hazel said…
Susan, I hope the back-flippin brain put the crossed eyes to rights....:D

Popular posts from this blog

Weekend Snapshot: The AIDS Temple (Lopburi I)

It is sometimes referred to as the AIDS Museum, I tend to call it AIDS Temple. Descriptively it is a buddhist hospice for AIDS patients, the largest one in Thailand. Three of us, a friend, my son and I paid Wat (temple) Phrabat Nampu in Lopburi a visit last weekend. As it is where people with AIDS go to to die, most of what we saw are not exactly the ones I'm in a hurry to show off. But if you are curious, you may want to click on a post I did days ago. Anyway, on with shots that I don't think will give anyone a coronary:

100 steps to the wat
After the climb this is where you arrive at

"View from the top" - those are bare cornfields visitors pass by on their way to the temple

Side view of the Life Museum which ironically displays mummies

A usual sight around Thai temples

Bone sculptures

The temple bell

Life is beautiful. Most of us would prefer that of course. AIDS is also real.

Honor, Awards and a Game

Tuesday Couch Potatoes: Made of Honor
Awards and a Game/Meme follow. Please scroll down a bit.

My pick for this week's TCP theme (wedding movie) is Made of Honor. I like the humor in it. We've all been to several weddings but how many of us can say I've been to one in which the maid of honor was a he? The scene which particularly cracked me up is when the priest mistook the maid of honor for a gay man =) If you're familiar with some of my likes, you'd know why I also love the Scotland location of the wedding. For more of the synopsis click here; and here's the trailer:
Head over to Just About Anything for more wedding movies.


My super duper bloggy friend Thom of Thom's Place for Well Whatever and fellow Mom Tetcha of Pensive Thoughts awarded me this Beautiful Blogger award. I have to list seven things about me so here they are:

1. I love wearing jeans more than skirts.
2. One of my favorite colors is purple.
3. I don't mind spending sunrise…


The Rumford is a much more efficient way to heat a room than earlier fireplaces....(Wikipedia on Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, designer of tall, shallow fireplaces which are now known as the Rumford, was an Anglo-American physicist known for his investigations of heat)Living in the tropics, I have been in close proximity with only three fireplaces in my life. There was an unused one in the home of my college professor in the Philippines. The other one from which I could feel the heat and see the fire dancing was in a hotel lobby in the Yorkshire Moors. Picture taking was quick. Two old ladies were having tea by it, but that was my first ever real fireplace experience, and I loved it. The latest I have touched is the one in Jane Austen's imaginary Northanger Abbey.
The fireplace, where she had expected the ample width and ponderous carvings of former times, was contracted to a Rumford, with slabs of plain though handsome marbles, and ornament over it of the prettiest English ch…