This course is designed to give students knowledge about the major theoretical paradigms that underlie research and criticism in the discipline of Communication, their underlying assumptions, major research issues, and preferred research methodologies. Major theoretical paradigms that structure the field of communication research and criticism, study the assumptions about communication, communicating individuals, and the communication environment that different theories propose, and learn about the types of research questions that are studied or ignored by the adoption of a theoretical perspective will be presented and discussed.  

In this course, major theoretical paradigms within the communication discipline are surveyed with attention given to the assumptions which undergird theoretical traditions and the types of research questions that can be studied from different theoretical perspectives. Several traditional theoretical perspectives are presented including Aristotelian analysis, symbolic interactionism, pragmatism, and technological determinism, along with modern theoretical approaches such as constructivism, discourse theory, and critical cultural approaches.    

Additionally, from studying communication theory, students should be able to read communication research and criticism in a more knowledgeable and critical manner. Students should be able to integrate much of the information they have received about communication theory in previous courses. Students will be able to use the theoretical knowledge they will receive in this class to assist them in understanding communication readings in other advanced courses.