ARTHUR P . BOCHNER Temple University The more we learn about the rule-conforming nature of communication phenomena, the more we recognize the importance of context. No meaningcentered theory of communication could possibly be written without reference to context, for as Bateson said, âwithout context, there is no communicationâ (1972, p. 402). There are many interactional contexts which influence behavior and experience, but none is more ubiquitous than the family. It is the family that provides the framework through which human beings pass from nonbeing to create the meanings and values which shape their lives. The most fundamental aspect of family process is communication. In recent years, the family as a domain of study has captured the attention of scholars in practically all of the disciplines associated with social and behavioral inquiry. More than 10,000 research studies of marriage and the family were published between 1965 and 1972 alone (Aldous & Dahl, 1974). Considering this vast surge of interest, it is surprising to find that few studies of families have been conducted by persons interested primarily in communication. This inactivity is even more astonishing when one considers that communication scholars have traditionally partitioned knowledge according to contexts, i.e., dyadic,
Human Communication Research – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 1, 1976
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