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COM 512, Spring 2017 – Reading Guide Questions for January 23

For Baxter & Braithwaite (2008):

1. What seems most surprising in the discussion of history ("Roots of Interpersonal Communication," pp. 2-4)?  What seems most significant?

2. What the significance of moving from thinking of communication as message exchange to thinking of it as how we create meaning?  (p. 4)

3. What makes the three foci of interpersonal communication that the authors identify distinct from one another?  What is the significance of these distinctions?  (pp. 5-6)

4. What are the four elements they say are common in definitions of interpersonal communication?  (p. 6)

5. So what's their definition of interpersonal communication?  What's their argument for this definition encompassing the range of theories in the book?  How does it compare with other definitions of interpersonal communication you've seen.

6. OK, a little review of COM 300 (or COM 500): What distinguishes post-positivism from interpretivism from criticism?

7. So what percentage of the interpersonal communication studies published between 1990 and 2005 followed each of the three paradigms?  Why do you think this is?  (p. 12)

8. What's their argument for the importance of theory?  Why not just study interpersonal communication phenomena without regard to theory?

For Spitzberg (2000):

1. For each of the six candidates for criteria for good communication he identifies on pp. 105-108:

    a. What is it?
    b. What makes it so important?
    c. Even if it is a necessary criteria for good communication, why wouldn't it be sufficient as the only criteria?
    d. What are the problems he identifies with this criteria?  Do you agree?

2. What is the standard combination of criteria for communication competence? (p. 109)

3. So why isn't communication a "set of teachable skills?"  (pp. 109-110).

4.  What are the five dimensions of context?  Why would each make a difference for competence? (pp. 111-112)

5. Why does locus of competence matter?  (p. 113)

6. Why does the level of abstraction of competence evaluations matter? (p. 114)

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