constitutive models

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*Communication models in which meanings are reflexively constructed, maintained, or negotiated in the act of communicating (rather than pre-established, as implied in linear transmission models). Communication is seen as a social practice that transforms not only our thoughts and feelings, but also our identities, our social relations, our framings of reality, and our social institutions. This is a key concept in ethnomethodology, where it is referred to as reflexivity. The American communication theorist Robert T. Craig (b.1947) argues that in the constitutive view communication is a primary phenomenon shaping other social processes (psychological, sociological, cultural, and so on) rather than a secondary one explicable in terms of antecedent factors. Furthermore, it can be seen as a metamodel for communication, enabling theorists to frame other models as differentially constituting particular processes and reflecting different theoretical purposes. See also communication game; constructionism; meaning-oriented communication; relational model; symbolic interactionism; compare interaction model; recursive communication theory.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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