Learning Objectives

Chapter Overview:

This chapter opens with a story - Gabriella’s story. Through a weaving of Gabriella’s story into the text, we begin to learn about the foundations of communication studies. We learn that this is John and Deanna’s history; because it is told from their academic backgrounds. The telling of the history of communication studies provides students with a common understanding in helping them understand who shaped the course they are in today, how the course was shaped, why particular elements of communication studies are highlighted, and what the greatest influences have been on public advocacy as we study it today.

Chapter Goals:

  • Explore how history is a collection of stories people tell from certain perspectives toward particular ends
  • Describe how communication history produces contemporary understandings of communication
  • Identify important contributions of theories and models from our past and question how they affect our present
  • Explore the role of power in how we theorize communication
  • Build from historical lessons to contemporary advocacy, specifically developing voice and argument (thesis) in public communication

Chapter Outline:

  1. Part One: The Rhetorical Tradition
  2. Part Two: The Elocution Era
  3. Part Three: The Move to Science
  4. Part Four: Social Constructionism
  5. Part Five: The Critical/Cultural Turn
  6. Lessons From Our Story of a Discipline
  7. Public Advocacy: Purpose, Audience, and Voice
    1. Purpose and Audience
    2. Voice
    3. Topic Selection
    4. Thesis