50 Ways to Understand Communication: A Guided Tour of Key Ideas and Theorists in Communication, Media, and Culture

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 183 pages
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Is consciousness like an iceberg? Does advertising lead to the commodification of humans? What is the hidden meaning of fairy tales? In 50 Ways to Understand Communication, Arthur Asa Berger familiarizes readers with important concepts written by leading communication and cultural theorists, such as Saussure, Levi-Strauss, de Certeau, Lasswell, McLuhan, Postman, and many others. Organized in fifty short segments, this concise guide covers a wide range of important ideas from psychoanalysis and semiology to humor, "otherness," and nonverbal communication. Berger's clear explanations and examples surround this assortment of influential writing, walking the uninitiated through these sometimes dense theoretical works. His selections and commentary will challenge readers to reconsider the role of communication in our culture. This engaging, accessible book is essential for students of communication and anyone interested in how we communicate in a world of rapidly changing media."
 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
How You Can Use This Book
Words and Communication
Signs and Semiotics
When I Use a Word Humpty Dumpty Said
Antithetical Meanings of Words
Society Precedes the Individual
Language Codes
Fairy Tales and the Psyche
Hot and Cool Media
The Impact of Postmodernism
The Postmodern Eye
Mind and Media
Cybertexts and Video Games
Digital Media
Smart Mobs

The Structuralist Perspective
Culture and the Unconscious
The Importance of Metaphor
A Model of the Communication Process
The Lasswell Formula
Art and Society A Model
Dialogic Aspects of Communication
Conversation as Narrative
Men and Women Use Language Differently
Black Speech
People of Color and the Media
Nonverbal Communication
Facial Expressions
Fashion as Communication
Symbolism and Religion
The Meaning of Symbols
The House as a Symbol of Femininity
Miss Americas Mythic Significance
Images of Women in Advertising
The Power of Advertising in Capitalist Societies
Myths and Society
Robinson Crusoe as Myth
How Crowds Think
Television and Art
Amusing Ourselves to Death
Narratives in the Media
Television Is a Dramatic Medium
The Power of Rock Music
Artistic Texts
Psychoanalysis and Literature
Humor and Communication
On Comedy
What Does Art Do?
Interpretation and Art
The Society of Spectacle
Representation and Difference
Learning Games and Activities
Glossary
Selected Bibliography
Biographies of Key Text Authors
Index
About the Author
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Arthur Asa Berger is professor emeritus of broadcast and electronic communication arts at San Francisco State University.

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