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Types of Theories of Communication

Updated April 17, 2017

Communication theories serve as an important basis for understanding human behaviour. Human communication is an important aspect of almost every area of day-to-day life. Personal, group, public and professional communication dictates perceptions. There are many types of theories of communication widely researched and studied.

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Mass Communication

The Theory of Mass Communication states that people are hesitant to express their viewpoint if a personal opinion is in the minority. The theory maintains that people will go along with the common public opinion out of fear of isolation. The theorists maintain that people are born with an innate ability to know what the mass public opinion is and that most people will go out of their way to be agreeable -- even if being agreeable goes against their core beliefs.

Group Communication

The Group Communication theory maintains that members of a particular group are so absorbed with identifying with the group, they fail to form opinions for themselves or look at opposing ideas. Someone in this type of mindset sees his group as superior to "outsiders." Signs of this phenomenon include an exaggerated sense of high morality; tendencies to demonise outsiders; and inclusion of members who censor themselves in order to fit in with the group.

Gender Communication

Theorists of the Gender Communication examine the idea that certain cultures view men as having more power than women have. Therefore, according to the Gender Communication Theory, men create language, while women lose the ability to express themselves freely. This theory, also called the Muted Group Theory, maintains that women have a difficult time expressing themselves. This theory does not assume differences between men and women are of a biological nature. Instead the Theory of Gender Communications takes the stance that men will lose the upper hand in language as cultures continue to evolve.

Organizational Communication

Proponents of the Organizational Theory of Communication argue that the success of organisations is dependent upon establishing adequate sense-making processes through the selection, enactment and retention of information. The sense-making process is an attempt to reduce multiple meanings and requires strict organisation. This theory contends that organisations are unable to evolve until people running the organisation have an adequate sense of themselves and the environment surrounding them.

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About the Author

Annabelle Rose majored in creative writing and literature at the University of Memphis. She is a freelance writer and works for a local non-profit organization. She began writing short stories on wide-ruled, triple-lined paper as a preschooler and never stopped pursuing her dream of becoming a successful writer.

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