Abstract

Research identifying important differences between perceived and observed communication networks has created the need for an integrative model to link the two phenomena. The theory described here proposes that observable communication is the result of a latent network of perceived communication relationships that is instantiated when activity foci are triggered. Giddens' (1984) structuration theory, Homans' (1950) theory of the human group, Feld's (1981) model of activity foci, and the concept of triggering events are incorporated to define activity, make it conceptually distinct from interaction, and explain how it acts to instantiate perceived communication relationships. Three modalities of enactment, activation, and reticulation are advanced as explanations for the production of observable communication. The falsifability of the theory is established via a comparison of algebraic models, and three key research issues stemming from the theory are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-190
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Theory
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

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communication
Communication
structuration
Telecommunication networks
Chemical activation
activation
event
interaction
Group
Structuration Theory
Enactment
Interaction
Activation
Giddens
Modality
Algebra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Perceived Networks, Activity Foci, and Observable Communication in Social Collectives. / Corman, Steven; Scott, Craig R.

In: Communication Theory, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1994, p. 171-190.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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