Chapter 4 Modern Theories of Organizational Communication Expanding Your View Up to now, your introduction to organizational communication has been fairly straightforward. In this chapter, however, we are going to complicate these pictures. For example, has your boss ever yelled at you? Irrational behavior can be difficult to square with classical theories of organization and communication.
Structuralism and Semiotics Structuralism Structuralism is a way of thinking about the world which is predominantly concerned with the perceptions and description of structures.
At its simplest, structuralism claims that the nature of every element in any given situation has no significance by itself, and in fact is determined by all the other elements involved in that situation. The full significance of any entity cannot be perceived unless and until it is integrated into the structure of which it forms a part Hawkes, p.
Structuralists believe that all human activity is constructed, not natural or "essential. Semiology Semiotics, simply put, is the science of signs. Semiology proposes that a great diversity of our human action and productions--our bodily postures and gestures, the the social rituals we perform, the clothes we wear, the meals we serve, the buildings we inhabit--all convey "shared" meanings to members of a particular culture, and so can be analyzed as signs which function in diverse kinds of signifying systems.
Linguistics the study of verbal signs and structures is only one branch of semiotics but supplies the basic methods and terms which are used in the study of all other social sign systems Abrams, p. Binary Opposition - "pairs of mutually-exclusive signifiers in a paradigm set representing categories which are logically opposed and which together define a complete universe of discourse relevant ontological domaine.
In such oppositions each term necessarily implies its opposite and there is no middle term" Daniel Chandler. Symbol - According to Saussure, "words are not symbols which correspond to referents, but rather are 'signs' which are made up of two parts like two sides of a sheet of paper: The distinction is important because Saussure contended that the relationship between signifier and signified is arbitrary; the only way we can distinguish meaning is by difference one sign or word differs from another.
Instead, meaning--the interpretation of a sign--can exist only in relationship with other signs. Selden and Widdowson use the sign system of traffic lights as an example. The color red, in that system, signifies "stop," even though "there is no natural bond between red and stop" Meaning is derived entirely through difference, "a system of opposites and contrasts," e.
Structuralist narratology - "a form of structuralism espoused by Vladimir Propp, Tzvetan Todorov, Roland Barthes, and Gerard Genette that illustrates how a story's meaning develops from its overall structure its langue rather than from each individual story's isolated theme.
To ascertain a text's meaning, narratologists emphasize grammatical elements such as verb tenses and the relationships and configurations of figures of speech within the story" Bressler - see General Resources below.
Northwestern UP, Hill and Wang, The Pleasure of the Text. Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study of Literature. U of California P, Jefferson, Anne and David Robey.This text is designed to provide a basic introduction to semiotics and communication theory, with plenty of examples from, and applications to, popular culture.4/5(1).
Communication theory. It might be said that semiotics belongs under the greater umbrella of Communication theory. Some of the important work in this field dates back more than half a century such as the work by Shannon and Weaver.
A literary movement that started in the late s and s and originated in reaction to traditional criticism that new critics saw as largely concerned with matters extraneous to the text, e.g., with the biography or psychology of the author or the work's relationship to literary history.
Semiotics began to become a major approach to cultural studies in the late s, partly as a result of the work of Roland Barthes. psychoanalysts and educationalists.
Beyond the most basic definition, there is considerable variation amongst leading semioticians as to what semiotics involves. or poststructuralist, semiotic theory.
One. Searle, John (). American philosopher. Expanding on the work of J.L. Austin, Searle's Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language () treats all communication as instances of the performance of speech acts.
In Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind () and The Rediscovery of the Mind () Searle emphasizes the irreducibility of consciousness and intentionality to.
Symbol/symbolic: a mode in which the signifier does not resemble the signified but which is fundamentally arbitrary or purely conventional - so that the relationship must be learnt: e.g. language in general (plus specific languages, alphabetical letters, punctuation marks, words, phrases and sentences), numbers, morse code, traffic lights, national flags;.