1. What is an implication, in general, and what are specific implications of the presence of the U.S. flag, Constitution, and Bill Of Rights in all the classrooms at the University of Arizona? a. A general definition of an implication is an assumption that can be inferred from a given scenario that is not obviously specified. The US flag, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are all important symbols of freedom in the United States. The Bill of Rights contains the first ten amendments to the Constitution that preserve the liberties and freedoms prevalent in the United States. The Constitution sets forth the structure of the government we created after rebelling against the British monarchy.
The US flag contains a representation of the original 13 colonies that rebelled against the British monarchy as the stripes and the current 50 states as the stars, this representation holds a strong symbol of Americanism. A specific implication of having the U.S. flag, Constitution and Bill of Rights in all University of Arizona classrooms is to help remind students of the freedoms that are available to them in the United States. These symbols of personal freedom promote one’s ability to be an outspoken individual, go against the grain in everything they do, and maintain an individual spirit.
2. Problems in business, government, and relationships are frequently blamed on a lack of communication or a failure to communicate properly. Use the Tubbs communication model on page 9 of your Human Communication textbook to diagnose a communication problem and suggest a recommendation for fixing the problem.
a. Tubbs’ communication model involves two communicators and contains three main components of communication: the messages, interference, and the channel. Communication problems can exist across all three components of Tubbs’ communication model. Messages can be intentional and unintentional, when we send an unintentional message we give a message that we didn’t intend to and will usually not find out about the error until we receive feedback from the receiver. Communication problems in channels can occur when sending a message through the wrong channel, each channel serves a primary purpose and sending the wrong message through a channel can lead to a breakdown in communication. Interference is what causes a sent message to become misunderstood or missed completely, usually due to a distortion in the message or the receiver becoming distracted.
A fairly common problem that has become more prominent in communication since the rise in popularity of electronic messaging is the inability to relate sarcasm, irony, or other emotions effectively. Usually when someone says something sarcastic it can be taken as a serious statement and the receiver can view the sender as ignorant or senseless. To fix this the person either has to relate the message through a more emotionally efficient channel, such as a telephone call, or include a signifier that allows the person to realize the text should be taken as sarcasm, such as including the tag /sarcasm afterwards.
3. What subject matter is at the heart of the field of communication? To answer this question, imagine that a friend or family member asked you what ‘communication’ as an academic subject was about. How would you respond to that person so that they had a clear understanding? a. Communication has changed a great deal over the last 2400 years but has always maintained a primary center to its study while adding more and more elements. In ancient Greece, Socrates and Plato used communication (then called Rhetoric) as a means to discover the truth and draw it out of their students. Aristotle took Plato’s view and expanded onto it that truth is not always absolute and humans must therefore ascertain the “probable” truth.
These early understandings still hold relevant today and create a framework for the contemporary study of human communication. At the heart of communication is the need for understanding, the need for people to be able to help others understand what they’re saying and understand what others are saying. With this need for understanding Plato stated that rhetoric would be used to promote falsehood over truth while Aristotle saw that either falsehood or truth could be promoted and it is the duty of the citizen to use rhetoric to defend the truth. Communication covers the central topic of providing information to other people through multiple channels in an efficient and effective manner. As communication progresses it will continue to hold its central subject matter while adding more and more relevant areas of interpretation.
4. How was the ancient Greek city-state of Athens involved in the history of communication? What connections exist between communication in ancient Athens and communication in the world today? a. Athens was home to the three scholars who created the two primary views to what we currently know as communication. Socrates, Aristotle and Plato provided a strong foundation for the study of communication while coming from two different views of rhetoric. Socrates and Plato were credited to creating the view of “Divine Truth” which sought to use reasoning and dialogue to “draw out” knowledge and understanding. Where as, Aristotle viewed that truth is all around in the environment and must be taken in through the senses.
Much of what Socrates, Aristotle and Plato put into communication (rhetoric) is still valid today; Aristotle stated communication is “purposive” and can be evaluated on whether they accomplish their purpose. Socrates demonstrated a strong relationship between communication that would result in the discovery and appreciation of truth and beauty; this gave a precedent to the value of ethics in communication. Each view puts value into a different way of viewing the truth that surrounds us every day; one sees that there is truth in everything and it’s up to the individual to find that truth while the other views that truth is dependent on the person and can change depending on a persons view. These two views from ancient Athens will continue to lead the study of communication and help shape the continued understanding of the field.
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