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A First Look at Communication Theory
A First Look at Communication Theory

A First Look at Communication Theory, 11th Edition

ISBN10: 126429610X | ISBN13: 9781264296101
By Em Griffin, Glenn Sparks and Andrew Ledbetter
© 2023

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* The estimated amount of time this product will be on the market is based on a number of factors, including faculty input to instructional design and the prior revision cycle and updates to academic research-which typically results in a revision cycle ranging from every two to four years for this product. Pricing subject to change at any time.

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The 11th edition of A First Look at Communication Theory encourages students who are encountering the field for the first time to tackle theories without fear. The authors’ conversational style and relevant examples keep complex theories within the grasp of first-time theory students. They introduce over 30 diverse theories that are a mix of foundational and recent scholarship and, with the benefit of numerous examples and connections to pop culture, help students apply them to their own lives. 

The discrete presentation of the theories ensures a well-rounded understanding of each while promoting integrative thinking and facilitating the ability of instructors to skip or rearrange their presentation. The broad selection of theories-from the classics to the cutting edge-ensures that students have a solid foundation with which to begin understanding the relationships between theories.

Division One: Overview
Ch. 1: Launching Your Study
Ch. 2: Talk About Theory
Ch. 3: Weighing the Words
Ch. 4: Mapping the Territory

Division Two: Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal Messages
Ch. 5: Symbolic Interactionism
Ch. 6: Expectancy Violations Theory
Ch. 7: Family Communication Patterns Theory

Relationship Development
Ch. 8: Social Penetration Theory
Ch. 9: Uncertainty Reduction Theory
Ch. 10: Social Information Processing Theory

Relationship Maintenance
Ch. 11: Relational Dialectics Theory
Ch. 12: Communication Privacy Management Theory
Ch. 13: Media Multiplexity Theory

Division Three: Social Influence Persuasion
Ch. 14: Social Judgment Theory
Ch. 15: Elaboration Likelihood Model
Ch. 16: Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Public Rhetoric
Ch. 17: The Rhetoric
Ch. 18: Dramatism
Ch. 19: Narrative Paradigm

Division Four: Group and Organizational Communication
Group Communication
Ch. 20: Functional Perspective on Group Decision-Making
Ch. 21: Symbolic Convergence Theory

Organizational Communication
Ch. 22: Cultural Approach to Organizations
Ch. 23: Communicative Constitution of Organizations
Ch. 24: Critical Theory of Communication in Organizations

Division Five: Cultural Context
Intercultural Communication
Ch. 25: Communication Accommodation Theory
Ch. 26: Face-Negotiation Theory
Ch. 27: Co-Cultural Theory
Ch. 28: Afrocentricity

Gender and Communication
Ch. 29: Feminist Standpoint Theory
Ch. 30: Muted Group Theory

Division Six: Mass Communication
Media and Culture
Ch. 31: Media Ecology
Ch. 32: Context Collapse
Ch. 33: Semiotics
Ch. 34: Cultural Studies

Media Effects
Ch. 35: Uses and Gratifications
Ch. 36: Cultivation Theory
Ch. 37: Agenda-Setting Theory

Division Seven: Integration
Ch. 38: Common Threads in Comm Theories

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About the Author

Em Griffin

Em Griffin received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from Northwestern University. He is professor of communication at Wheaton College in Illinois, where he has taught for the past 26 years and has been chosen Teacher of the Year. His research interest centers on the development of close friendships. Dr. Griffin is the author of three applied communication books: The Mind Changers analyzes practical techniques of persuasion; Getting Together offers research-based suggestions for effective group leadership; and Making Friends describes the way that quality interpersonal communication can build close relationships. He also leads workshops on these topics in the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States.

Glenn Sparks

Glenn Sparks received his Ph.D. in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University in Indiana, where he has taught for 28 years. His research focuses on the effects of media. Dr. Sparks is the author of Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview and a personal memoir, Rolling in Dough: Lessons I Learned in a Doughnut Shop; he is co-author of Refrigerator Rights: Our Crucial Need for Close Connection.

Andrew Ledbetter

Andrew Ledbetter received his M.A. and Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Kansas. He is associate professor of communication studies at Texas Christian University. His research addresses how people use communication technology to maintain their interpersonal relationships. A related interest concerns how parent–child communication predicts health and well-being. Dr. Ledbetter has published more than 35 articles and received recognition for teaching excellence from both the National Communication Association and Central States Communication Association.


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