An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research

By Michael B. Salwen; Don W. Stacks | Go to book overview

2
Thinking About Theory

Steven H. Chaffee1 Stanford University

Theorizing about human communication is a very common human activity. We could not live effective lives if we did not formulate, and act upon, general suppositions about why people say what they say, for example, or how what we say affects other people. Indeed, understanding communication has such obvious survival value that one might imagine theorizing to be a genetically inherited propensity throughout our species.

Research on human communication, on the other hand, is a rare activity, one that requires a number of intellectual skills that are developed only through academic discipline. Basic to almost all of these skills is the decidedly uncommon activity of theorizing for research. That is the subject of this chapter; to a great extent it is the purpose of this entire book.

Most readers will be familiar with two meanings of theory: theory as abstract ideas and theory as predictable findings. Neither of these quite describes the underlying process of theorizing as it will be described here. This chapter will emphasize a third meaning, one built around concept explication--a kind of thinking that connects the

____________________
1
The author is indebted to Richard F. Carter, Jack M. McLeod, and Byron Reeves for many of the ideas underlying this chapter. Among those who commented helpfully on an earlier draft are Ben Detenber, Glenn Leshner, Dennis Kinsey, Jim Coyl, Bob Meeds, Andrew Mendelsohn, Ekaterina Ognianova, Jane B. Singer, and Charlie Wood.

-15-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 602

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.