Communication Theory
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Course title in English
Communication Theory
ECTS credits
Assessment form
lecturer of 2022/2023 Autumn semester
Not opened for teaching. Click the study programme link below to see the nominal division schedule.
lecturer of 2022/2023 Spring semester
Not opened for teaching. Click the study programme link below to see the nominal division schedule.
Course aims
The objective is to clarify the meanings of the main principles of communication theories; introduce the main schools of communication methods; explain the relationship between communication and processes in society, as well as the opportunities for communication theory to give meaning to social processes; acquire primary skills of communication analysis. Also the course enables students to understand the connection of the communication theory to other social sciences and facilitates the development of interdisciplinary and complex thought.
Brief description of the course
Communication Theory is an elementary level course which introduces the basics of communication theory. The following topics are covered during the course and seminars: the concept of communication, schools of communication study. Two traditions: realism and constructivism. Communication models of the Process School: the stimulus-response model. Shannon-Weaver model, information, information theories, enthropia, redundancy; Lasswell´s five-questions model; Newcomb’s model; Westley and McLean´s model, Maletzke´s model. Jakobson´s model. Austin´s theory of speech-acts, Searle´s model of speech acts. Communication treatment of the school of semiotics. Ritual model of communication (James W. Carey treatment of communication). Social constructionism, Foucault’s treatment of discourse. Communication as a system. Concept of a system, linear and circulatory causality. Santiago´s theory of cognition, concept of autopoiesis. Luhmann´s system theory. Reflectivity, dimensions of matter, time and social dimension of reflectivity. Three eras of communication research according to Merten. Types of communication, individual communication, types of individual communication. Nonverbal communication; verbal-nonverbal dyadic communication (Small Talk, gossip, talk); public individual communication (rumour, speech). Aristotle´s rhetoric. Birth of communication: subanimal communication, animal communication, Luhmann´s scheme of communication genesis, human communication, from speech to writing. Positions of communication process in individual communication, sender (communicator) in individual communication; types of messages; receiver in individual communication.
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
Upon completion of the course the student has acquired the following learning outcomes:
Knows the main terms and problems of communication theory;
Understands the approaches and communication models of the main communication theories;
Is able to use professional terms appropriately;
Can distinguish between the types of communications, independently analyze texts and give meaning to processes in society as communication processes;
Can apply acquired knowledge to practical activities: advertising, public relations, integrated marketing communication, journalism and political communication.
Dots. Raivo Palmaru, PhD, Scott Abel, MA, Prof. Kaja Tampere, PhD