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Communication is the process whereby information is being exchanged between different parties.

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Introduction

Communication is the process whereby information is being exchanged between different parties. Mediums such as radio and telephone help facilitate the exchange of information. The process or transmission model of communication assumes that a receiver will interpret a message as intended by the sender. This form of communication model has its own strengths and weaknesses. While it can to a certain extent represent communication practices, it fails to consider the relationship between communication, context and cultural literacy. The process or transmission model describes a model of communication in terms of sender, message and receiver. Based on this model, communication is said to have taken place when a sender, sends a message to a receiver and the receiver, receives the message. Thus this model of communication is also known as the Sender-Message-Receiver (SMR) Model. Schirato and Yell (1996:4) explains the SMR Model using the postal service. First, there will be a parcel which then needs to be addressed, mailed and delivered. Lastly, the same parcel will be received. ...read more.

Middle

According to Schirato and Yell (1996:8), the markers of communication will be read and evaluated differently by different people, depending on the cultural context they bring to communication. Therefore, we can see that the relationship between communication and culture is important which is lacking in the process model. The SMR model does not allow for context which as Schirato and Yell (1996:5) argue is one of the points missing from the process school model of communication. Contexts are often understood as a simple amalgam of cultural features such as meaning systems (body language codes, religious codes), material conditions (urban, rural) and participants or members (class, gender or age) as noted by Schirato and Yell (1996:16). Take a simple telephone call for example where two sisters would talk on the phone everyday. Based on the study done on Whiddy Island, Betteridge (1997:589,579) mentions that women make use of the telephone to maintain relationships. An Islander said that she calls her sister everyday to find out how she is and what she is doing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Potts (1989:26) sites the example of the link between radio and youth culture during the 1950s. Radio broadcasters understood the youth culture as one that loved rock music and so they injected this into their programs to attract them. This shows that the media when creating media messages, take into consideration "everyday forms of culture and communication and reproduce it in a selective and creative way" (Thompson 1997:30). Thus it can be seen that to effectively bring across a message, it is important to employ the concept of cultural literacy. In conclusion, the SMR model does not represent a model for effective communication. It merely states communication as passing a message from the sender to the receiver and as long as the receiver gets the intended message then communication is said to be complete. However, as shown from the examples, communication is not such a simple process and there are other factors that prohibit the receiver of a message to understand it as intended by the sender. Factors such as cultural differences, cultural context and cultural literacy need to be considered to communicate effective. When all the factors are fulfilled then can a message between a sender and receiver be conveyed successfully. ...read more.

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