Outline of communication

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to communication:

Communication is a phenomenon that we all think we can recognise. There is, however, no universal agreement on a definition.[1] The definition of communication varies across academic disciplines and between different theories, schools, and approaches.

Communication Theory has one universal law, written by S. F. Scudder in the early 1900s, and later published in 1980.[citation needed] The Universal Communication Law (Universal law of Communication) states that, “All living entities, beings and creatures communicate”.[citation needed] In an interview, Scudder clarified the concept – “All of the living communicate through movements, sounds, reactions, physical changes, gestures, languages, breath, colour transformations, etc. Communication is a means of survival, existence and being and does not need another to acknowledge its presence. Examples – the cry of a child ; the release of Ethylene that makes apples ripen at the same time (communication that enables an apple tree's apples to collectively); plants reacting and sending chemical messages to communicate that caterpillars are present;[citation needed] the cry of an animal (communicating that it is injured, hungry, angry, etc.). Everything living communicates.[2]

Scudder’s thesis is aptly reinforced by General Systems Theory, which submits that one of the three critical functions of living systems is the exchange of information with its environment and with other living systems . In his book, Flor (2004, page 4) extends this argument by forwarding that, “All living systems, from the simplest to the most complex, are equipped to perform these critical functions. They are called critical because they are necessary for the survival of the living system. Communication is nothing more than the exchange of information. Hence, at its broadest sense, environmental communication is necessary for the survival of every living system, be it an organism, an ecosystem, or (even) a social system.”[3]

Essence of communication[edit]

Main article: Communication

Branches of communication[edit]

Fields of communication[edit]

Theories, schools, and approaches[edit]

History of communication[edit]

Main article: History of communication

General communication concepts[edit]

Types of communication[edit]

General topics of communication[edit]

Communication industries and media vocations[edit]

General communication terms[edit]

Communication scholars[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fiske, John. (1990) Introduction to Communication Studies (second edition). London: Routledge.
  2. ^ Craig, Robert (May 1999). "Communication theory as a field". Communication Theory 9 (2): 119–161. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2885.1999.tb00355.x. 
  3. ^ "Communication Definitions". Environmental Communication. June 2013. 

External links[edit]