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The Complexity of Human Communication

Most communication research and most applications of that research acknowledge the process nature of communication. However, the material following that acknowledgment conforms to traditional linear and static approaches treating communication as little more than printed text. This Print Paradigm persists despite repeated calls to explore the more dynamic nature of communication. The author argues that communication is a process analogous to the complexity in other living systems. Complexity theory models biological processes similar to how chaos theory treats chemical and physical processes. The book begins with a review of philosophical and social psychological thought as a basis for explaining the mathematical and natural science models. This volume reviews a remarkable range of material stretching over three centuries. The author explains complicated concepts in a simple and often whimsical way and uses practical as well as research examples to bring technical ideas to a wide audience. The author develops paradigmatic principles and then describes the process of information and a model of communication as a socially emergent process. The early chapters are a foundation for disputing current thinking across a range of concepts such as communication and self, stories and storytelling, communication and trust, and conflict. The author concludes by sketching theoretical, methodological, and practical and ethical challenges. The volume is as dynamic and intricate as the complexity of human communication.
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Table of Contents

IT'S ALL JUST A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY REPEATING. Philosophy and Theory. Preliminary Paradigmatic Assumptions. References. SMALL TALK CAN HAVE BIG CONSEQUENCES. The Evolution of Complexity. Dynamic Systems. Paradigmatic Principles for Understanding the Complexity of Human Communication. References. THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH INFORMATION. Information as a Pattern. Perceived Patterns. Creating Patterns. References. THE ONLY PROPER INTOXICATION IS CONVERSATION. Modeling the Complexity of Human Communication. Relocating Paradigms. References. YOU ARE HOW YOU COMMUNICATE WHO YOU ARE. Self in the Communicator. Self as Messages and Presentations. Equivocal Social Cues. Transformations and Stability. Self-Organizing Self. References. ONCE UPON A TIME, IT WAS A TIME, A TIME IT IS. Lingua. Constructing Stories as Communication. The Complexity of Constructing Stories. From Story to Story. References. TALK THE TALK. Making Sense of Fear and Trust. Trust and Social Resources. Trust and Social Networks. The Complexity of Trust and Social Networks. Conclusion. References. CONFLICT TRANSFORMS. Conflict Boundaries. A Strategic Choice. Social Conflict Patterns. The Complexity of Conflict.; The Potential for Second-Order Change. References. TALK IS NOT CHEAP. Theory. Methods. Application. Ethics. Discipline. References. Author Index. Subject Index.

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