Interpersonal Communication

Michael E. Roloff

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:
Interpersonal Communication


Communication scholars have a long history of studying public discourse. Researchers have investigated public address and oratory as well as messages communicated to the public through print and electronic forms. However, in the late 1960s there was a realization that relatively little was known about the interaction processes that are more private and personal. In response to this void, the study of interpersonal communication began. Interpersonal communication scholars found that few of the models associated with public discourse informed about conversations, and they turned to allied fields and disciplines for theory. Hence, perspectives such as symbolic interactionism, social exchange theory, and relational pragmatics were imported from other social sciences. As research on interpersonal communication flourished in the 1980s, social psychological perspectives associated with social cognition were adopted, as were linguistic perspectives on discourse production and processing. However, a focus on relational processes also emerged and remains dominant as researchers examine how communication is used to initiate, define, maintain, and terminate relationships. Traditionally, interpersonal communication was heavily focused on face-to-face interaction, and, with the growth of information technology and social networking, many interpersonal scholars have concentrated on computer-mediated communication.

Article.  6809 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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