"The importance of communication in human society has been recognized for thousands of years, far longer than we can demonstrate through recorded history" * (e.g. Stacks & Salwen, 2009, p. 223). As humans, we have the communication abilities that other animals do not, such as being able to communicate aspects like time and place as though they were solid objects.
Category of human communication
The current study of human communication can be broken down into two major categories; rhetorical and relational. The focus of rhetorical communication is primarily on the study of influence; the art of rhetorical communication is based on the idea of persuasion. The relational approach examines communication from a transnational perspective; two or more people coexist to reach an agreed upon perspective.
In its early stages, rhetoric was developed to help ordinary people prove their claims in court; this shows how persuasion is key in this form of communication. Aristotle exclaimed that, effective rhetoric is based on argumentation. As explained in the text, rhetoric involves a dominant party and a submissive party or a party that succumbs to that of the most dominant party. While the rhetorical approach stems from Western societies, the relational approach stems from Eastern societies. Eastern societies hold higher standards for cooperation which makes sense as to why they would sway more toward a relational approach for that matter. "Maintaining valued relationships is generally seen as more important than exerting influence and control over others" * (e.g. Stacks & Salwen, 2009, p. 227). "The study of human communication today is more diversified than ever before in its history" * (e.g. Stacks & Salwen, 2009, p. 229). Classification of human communication can be found in the workplace, especially for group work. Co-workers need to argue with each other to gain the best solutions for their projects, while they also need to nurture their relationship to maintain their collaboration. For example, “saving face” maybe the communication tactics that they will utilize in their group work.
Types of human communication
- with themselves: intrapersonal communication
- expression: body language
- another person: interpersonal communication
- within groups: group dynamics
- within organizations: organizational communication
- across cultures: cross-cultural communication
- Colin Cherry
- Jacques Derrida
- Wendell Johnson
- Marshall McLuhan
- Albert Mehrabian
- Carl Rogers
- Norbert Wiener
- Communication basic topics
- General semantics
- History of communication
- Mass communication
- Mass media
•Stacks, D. & Salwen M. (2009). An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research. New York: Routledge.