Communicative Theory |Teori komunikatif

Communicative Theory

Language is verbal tool which is used for communication and spoken language is the process of conveying information in communication.

Ruben (1984) says that communication is any “information related behavior. 

Dale (1969) says it is the “sharing of ideas and feelings in a mood of mutuality.”

Berelson and Steiner (1964): “The transmission of information, ideas, emotions and skills…by the use of symbols,” 

Theodorson and Theodorson (1969):“the transmission of information, ideas, attitudes, or emotion from one person or group to another…primarily through symbols.”

Communicative action for Habermas is possible given human capacity for rationality. This rationality, however, is "no longer tied to, and limited by, the subjectivistic and individualistic premises of modern philosophy and social theory."[1]:vi Instead, Habermas situates rationality as a capacity inherent within language, especially in the form of argumentation. "We use the term argumentation for that type of speech in which participants thematize contested validity claims and attempt to vindicate or criticize them through argumentation."[1]:18 The structures of argumentative speech, which Habermas identifies as the absence of coercive force, the mutual search for understanding, and the compelling power of the better argument, form the key features from which intersubjective rationality can make communication possible. Action undertaken by participants through a process of such argumentative communication can be assessed as to their rationality to the extent which they fulfill those criteria.

Another radical critique is that of Nikolas Kompridis, a former student of Habermas, who views Habermas' theory as another attempt to arrive at a "view from nowhere", this time by locating rationality in procedures of reaching agreement independent of any particular participants' perspective or background. In response, he proposes a "possibility-disclosing" role of reason to correct the problems with Habermas' work.

Social implications
Habermas' earlier work, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, anticipates his concern for argumentation and can be read retrospectively as a historical case study of Western European societies institutionalizing aspects of communicative action in the political and social spheres. Habermas notes the rise of institutions of public debate in late seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain and France especially. In these nations, information exchange and communication methods pioneered by capitalist merchants became adapted to novel purposes and were employed as an outlet for the public use of reason. The notion of communicative rationality in the public sphere is therefore heavily indebted to Immanuel Kant's formulation of the public use of reason in What is Enlightenment? Habermas argues that the bourgeoisie who participated in this incipient public sphere universalized those aspects of their class that enabled them to present the public sphere as inclusive—he even goes so far as to say that a public sphere that operates upon principles of exclusivity is not a public sphere at all.[3] The focus on foundations of democracy established in this work carried over to his later examination in The Theory of Communicative Action that greater democratization and the reduction to barriers to participation in public discourse (some of which he identified in the first public sphere of the Enlightenment) could open the door to a more open form of social action. The shift from a more Marxist focus on the economic bases of discourse in Structural Transformation to a more "super-structural" emphasis on language and communication in Theory of Communicative Action signals Habermas' transition to a post-Marxist framework.
Much of Habermas' work has been in response to his predecessors in the Frankfurt School. Communicative rationality, for instance, can be seen as a response to the critique of enlightenment reason expressed in Max Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment. Horkheimer and Adorno had argued that the Enlightenment saw a particular kind of rationality enshrined as dominant in western culture, instrumental reason, which had only made possible the more effective and ruthless manipulation of nature and human beings themselves.[2] Habermas' form of critical theory is designed to rediscover through the analysis of positive potentials for human rationality in the medium of language, the possibility of a critical form of reason that can lead to reflection and examination of not only objective questions, but also those of social norms, human values, and even aesthetic expression of subjectivity.