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Introduction to Communication

Introduction to Communication

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Published by Preeti Marwah

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Published by: Preeti Marwah on Dec 13, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What is communication? It is an interesting exercise to ask members of a group towrite, in a short paragraph, their meanings for the term. Two things becomeapparent: most individuals have difficulty writing out their actual meaning for theterm
, and there is a great variation in meanings.Communication is not just an act. It is a process. The process of communicationincludes transmission if information, ideas, emotions, skills, knowledge by usingsymbols, words, pictures, figures, graphs or illustrations. The act of communicationis referred to as ‘transmission’. It is the process of transmission that is generallytermed as communication.Communication regulates and shapes all human behavior. Therefore, it isimportant to have a clear understanding of the concepts of communication what iscommunication. Why is it important to us? How does it work? What are theelements in the process of communication? What are the different types of communication that we are engaged in? These questions come to our mind whenwe study this subject.
Meaning of Communication
The English word ‘communication’ is derived from the Latin noun ‘communis’ andthe Latin verb ‘communicare’ that means ‘to make common’. Communication is amuch-hyped word in the contemporary world. It encompasses a multitude of experiences, actions and events, as well as a whole variety of happenings andmeanings, and technologies too. Meetings, conferences, or even a procession thuscan be a communication event. Newspapers, radio, video, and television are all‘communication
media’ and journalists, newsreaders; advertisers, public relation persons, and evencamera crew are ‘communication professionals’."Communications is the mechanism through which human relations exist anddevelop." This broad definition, found in a book written by a sociologist, takesin about everything.In contrast, some people limit their definitions of communication rathenarrowly, saying, "Communication is the process whereby one person tellsanother something through the written or spoken word." This definition, from a book written by a journalist, seems reasonable for those in that field.Some definitions fall in between these two extremes. Carl Hovland, a well-known psychologist of a few years ago, said communication is "the process bywhich an individual (the communicator) transmits stimuli (usually verbalsymbols) to modify the behavior of the other individuals (communicates)."This definition describes what many extension workers hope to achieve. You'll be trying to change behavior.Some object to this definition. Their objections center on the phrase "modify the behavior." They say there are numerous occasions when they communicate, intheir family and social lives for example, with no intention of attempting tomodify behavior. However, we most likely do modify others' behavior eventhough that may not be our intention.We could find many other definitions of communication. However, "meaningsare in people and not words" and it is not likely that we could get a group of anysize to agree exactly on one meaning. Besides, an exact definition of the word isnot necessary. My goal is to illustrate that it is difficult for many to formulatetheir own definition and that there is a wide range in meanings.
History Of Communication
Evolution of the brain differentiated humans from animals, as among other thingsit allowed humans to master a very efficient form of communication. Today, wehave developed impressive technologies and machines to keep in communicationwith each other. The technologies like printing press, telephone, films, radio,television, computers, etc have become very common. The discovery andadvancements of these technologies have been truly amazing and extraordinary.
The Beginning
Fossils record show that the first development in the evolution of 
 Homo Sapiens
(human beings) took place about 70 million years back. Then humans were likerats that lived during the period of dinosaurs. Millions of years passed before thefirst primates or mammals with flexible hands and feet evolved. Then about fiveto one millions years ago evolved an ape like creature called the
 Australopithecus Africans
. As the name suggests, this creature lived in Africa. It walked upright,lived in caves and shelters with the family. Then appeared one of our earlyancestors (
). They were more advanced and the first one to discover fire. They lived in
 bigger groups and started the civilization process.Then came the
 Homo erectus
who developed tools like the two-edged hand axesand other cutting tools. Also they had a higher brain volume. The finaldevelopment occurred when the Cro-Magnon (
 Homo sapiens- sapiens
) appeared.They lived in caves and other such shelters and used complex tools. Also theywere successful hunters and had an elaborate social organization. They learned to preserve food and make clothes. The Cro- Magnon also started carvings and cave- paintings. They domesticated the animals and began the use of metals. They alsostarted agriculture and were identical to contemporary human beings inappearance and brain capacity.The human evolutionary process became much faster towards the end. Also the process of civilization became faster. This was possible because of their greater ability to communicate. This ability helped the early human beings to invent, borrow solutions from others and most importantly to accumulate knowledge.Scientists from

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