SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.75 issue1Traces of neo-Calvinism in France and ItalyHermeneia: A theological discourse on hermeneutical issues with three South African theologians author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Koers

On-line version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.75 n.1 Pretoria  2010

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Reflections on a Christian view of human communication

 

Reflektering op 'n Christelike uitkyk op menslike kommunikasie

 

 

H.A. van Belle

Department of Psychology, The Kings University College, Edmonton, CANADA. E-mail: harryvanbelle@hotmail.com

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article defines human communication as community building and describes the various functions of communication in life. It argues that a number of other human activities are presupposed in communication without which communication would not be possible. These activities are its inherent functions. Community building is described as the authentic function of communication. Without it communication would not be what it is. Lastly, there are several social activities that depend on communication for their existence. These are what communication is for. Such functions form the adherent functions of communication. Next the article describes a set of norms or criteria for distinguishing good communication from bad. Then follows a description of some models of communication found in the literature. These are seen as less than full descriptions of actual human communication. A few of these models reduce communication to one or more of its inherent functions. One honours the authentic function but none of them do justice to the adherent functions of communication. In addition, the article briefly describes and evaluates mass media communication. Because of its monological nature this communication can only produce one-way messages from sender to receiver. It thus gives the sender an unfair advantage of influence over the receiver. Dialogical communication remedies that problem and is to be preferred because in it the influence is mutual between the sender and the receiver of a message. However, it fails to account for the influence of such communication on third parties not involved in the dialogical relationship. The article, therefore, favours what it calls a triological form of communicating. In closing the article briefly describes social networking as the latest form of human communication.

Key concepts: communication models, community building, dialogue, monologue, social networking


OPSOMMING

Hierdie artikel definieer menslike kommunikasie as gemeenskapsopbouing en beskryf verskeie funksies van kommunikasie. Daar word geargumenteer dat 'n aantal ander menslike aktiwiteite in kommunikasie vooronderstel word waarsonder kommunikasie nie moontlik sou wees nie. Hierdie aktiwiteite is inherente funksies. Gemeenskapsopbouing word beskryf as die outentieke funksie van kommunikasie. Daarsonder sou kommunikasie nie kon wees wat dit is nie. Laastens is daar ook verskeie sosiale aktiwiteite wat van kommunikasie afhanklik is vir hulle voortbestaan. Dit is waarvoor kommunikasie daar is. Sodanige funksies vorm die adherente funksies van kommunikasie. Vervolgens beskryf die artikel 'n stel norme of kriteria om goeie kommunikasie van slegte kommunikasie te onderskei. Daarna volg 'n verduideliking van sommige van die kommunikasiemodelle wat in die literatuur gevind kan word. Dit is egter nie volledige beskrywings van werklike menslike kommunikasie nie. 'n Paar van hierdie modelle reduseer kommunikasie tot een of meer van die inherente funksies van kommunikasie. Een erken die outentieke funksie, maar geeneen laat reg geskied aan die adherente funksies van kommunikasie nie. Verder beskryf en evalueer die artikel kortliks massamediakommunikasie. As gevolg van die monologiese aard van hierdie kommunikasie kan slegs eenrigtingboodskappe vanaf die sender na die ontvanger gestuur word. Dus word 'n onregverdige voordeel aan die sender verleen ten opsigte van die beïnvloeding van die ontvanger. Dialogiese kommunikasie dien as oplossing vir die genoemde probleem en word daarom verkies, omdat hiermee die invloed tussen sender en ontvanger wedersyds gelyk is. Hierdie model hou egter nie rekening met die invloed daarvan op' n derde party wat nie direk by die dialogiese verhouding betrokke is nie. Hierdie artikel verkies dus wat genoem word 'n triologiese vorm van kommunikasie. Ten slotte beskryf die artikel kortliks sosiale netwerking as die mees onlangste vorm van menslike kommunikasie.

Kernbegrippe: dialogue, gemeenskapsbou, kommunikasiemodelle, monoloog, sosiale netwerking


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

List of references

BUBER, M. 1955. Between man and man. Boston: Beacon Paperback.         [ Links ]

BUBER, M. 1958. I and Thou. New York: Scribner's.         [ Links ]

CAREY, J. 1989. Communication as culture. New York: Routledge.         [ Links ]

DOOYEWEERD, H. 1953. A new critique of theoretical thought. 4 vols. Amsterdam: Paris.         [ Links ]

HABERMAS, J. 1981. The theory of communicative action. Boston: Beacon        [ Links ]

MATSON, F.W. 1967. The human dialogue: perspectives on communication. New York: The Free Press.         [ Links ]

PEW RESEARCH CENTER. 2010. The millenials: confident, connected, open to change. p. 32-43. www.pewresearch.org/millenials Date of access: 24 Feb. 2010.         [ Links ]

ROGERS, C. 1961. On becoming a person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.         [ Links ]

SHANNON, C. & WEAVER, W. 1949. The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.         [ Links ]

VERBURG, P.A. 1951. Enkele lijnen en feiten in de ontwikkeling der taaltheorie. (In Zuidema, S.U., red. Wetenschappelijke bijdragen door leerlingen van Dr. D.H. Th. Vollenhoven. Franeker: Wever. p. 13-22.         [ Links ])

VERBURG, P.A. 1965. Delosis and clarity. (In Fortman, W.F., De Gaay, H.H.J., Dengerink, J.D., Langemeijer, G.E., Mekkes, J.P.A., Van Peursen, C.A. & Stellingwerff, J., eds. Philosophy and Christianity: philosophical essays dedicated to Prof. Dr. H. Dooyeweerd. Kampen: Kok. p. 78-99.         [ Links ])

VERBURG, P.A. 1971. De mens in de taalkunde. (In Truth and reality: philosophical perspectives on reality dedicated to Prof. H.G. Stoker. Braamfontein: De Jong. p. 262-282.         [ Links ])

WIENER, N. 1950. The human use of human beings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.         [ Links ]

WIENER, N. 1961. Cybernetics or control and communication in the animal and the machine. 2nd ed. Cambridge: MIT.         [ Links ]

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License