Chapter 1: Introduction

Communication is a part of every aspect of our lives. For the purpose of this book,” communication” is defined as the process of generating meaning by sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal symbols and signs that are influenced by multiple contexts. This definition builds on other definitions of communication that have been rephrased and refined over many years. In fact, since the systematic study of communication began in colleges and universities a little over one hundred years ago, there have been more than 126 published definitions of communication (Dance & Larson, 1976).

While there are five main forms of communication – intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, public, and mass communication – this book focuses on intrapersonal and interpersonal communication in various contexts. We will begin building a strong foundation of communication knowledge in this chapter by looking at communication models, principles, and competence.


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