Sources of Theories
Many theories and many meta-theories (notions of the sorts of theories we should be studying) are matters that are discussed for their own merit in different fields. You should not be surprised to find that many theories are the objects of considerable attention. Look at this list of hyperlinks to discussions of theories:
|Learning Theories (a review of learning theories related to communication studies)|
|The Theories (a set of learning theory briefs and summaries)|
|The Media and Communication Studies site (browse the A-to-Z Topic Index for find a list of over twenty communication-related theories and meta- theories)|
|About Learning (summaries of 12 learning and other related theories prepared by Funderstanding)|
|Symbolic Interactionism as Defined by Herbert Blumer|
|Theory Library (a collection of links to sites dealing with conflict, functionalist, exchange, sociobiology, interactionist, and other miscellaneous theories)|
|Theories in Communication (with an emphasis in critical theory, mass media effects, and popular culture)|
|Communication Theories (links to discussions of communication theories and to websites that discuss them)|
Feel free to add others to this list by completing general searches under the names of general theories listed in Chapter 3.
Either by reading three of these WebPages or by following links to other WebPages containing communication and social theories, examine three of them.
After you have done so, address these three matters about them.
1. Assess the degree to which the source actually reviewed theoretic orientations or theories as the chapter described them. In particular, how extensively did the Webpage review the elements we expect of complete theories. Pay particular attention to definitions of key terms and statements of the theory's major propositions.
2. What do you believe are the motives behind the Website sponsors? When answering this question, it might help to consider these secondary issues as well. How balanced was the presentation of information about the theory? If the Website sponsors did not identify themselves, this fact could be helpful when interpreting the credibility of that source of information. Ask yourself if the motive for sharing this information on the Internet is self-serving, articles of faith by a "true believer," or simply a sponsor who wishes to supply information about a theory to interested Internet surfers.
3. Assess how useful the site might be to student researchers. In particular, assess the reliability of the information you found on the Website as a way of answering this issue.