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Communication is exchange of information between objects, and as such can include both technical topics like telecommunication and societal issues like mass media. Several scientific journals have this word in their title, for example Communications of the ACM[?].
We can treat Communication like a language and a subject unto itself, or as the name of a field of study.

"Communication" implies two different, and sometimes conflicting, things. On the one hand, it means to have a thoughtful exchange of views (dialogue) with a small number of people, perhaps just one. But it can also mean to disseminate broadly a simple message (compare broadcasting), without deep thought or appeals for feedback. The Latin root word comunicare means "to make common."

Communication as a field of study is relatively new. Arguably, it encompasses journalism, public relations, media studies (which might include the study of television, radio, and film), and rhetoric, among other fields.

In more technical senses, see also telegraphy, telephone, computer network, psychology, linguistics.

We might divide these diverse fields into those which cultivate a thoughtful exchange between a small number of people (debate, talk radio, e-mail, personal letters) on the one hand; and those which disseminate broadly a simple message (public relations, television, Hollywood films.)

Under communication one might also classify the postal system.

In virtual management an important issue is computer mediated communication[?].

The view people take to communication is changing, as new technologies change the way people communicate and organize. This new trend in communication, decentralized personal networking, is termed smartmobing.

Table of contents


  • Definitions of communication
  • Overview of debate: what is and isn't communication?

Communication Models

  • encoding, sending and receiving messages
  • symbols, language
  • verbal communication: speaking, writing
  • nonverbal communication, body language (see Nonverbal Dictionary (http://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/entries.htm#Entries))

Communication Technology

The Study of Communication

  • historical sketch
  • important people, theories

See also Communication basic topics, Human communication

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