Table of Contents

General Contexts

Intrapersonal Communication (Persuasion)

Interpersonal Communication

Small Group Communication

Organizational Communication

Intercultural Communication

Mass Communication

Applied Contexts

Health Communication

Instructional Communication

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Last updated February 19, 2001


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Explanation of Theory:Individual experiences, knowledge, and communication behaviors are shaped in large part by the social groups to which they belong. 

Theorists: Sandra Harding and Julia T. Wood


Primary Article:Wood, J. T. (1982). Communication and relational culture: Bases for the study of human relationships. Communication Quarterly, 30, 75-82.

Individual Interpretations:Standpoint provides a framework for understanding the systems of power.

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

Ontological Assumptions:n/a

Epistemological Assumptions:n/a

Axiological Assumptions:n/a

Standpoint is a humanistic theory.  It is a good theory because it derives from a consistently formulated theoretical position.  The method of investigation is formulated precisely and applied carefully.  Moreover, it makes sense to the communication practice and allows other generalizations and theories to form from it

Ideas and Implications:Standpoint provides a well-structured framework for understanding how social groups effect our life.


Example:Bill and Ted are members of the same social group so they will share a perspective, or standpoint.

Relevant Research:
Chafetz, J. S. (1997). Feminist theory and sociology: Underutilized contributions for mainstream theory. Annual Review of Sociology, 23, 97-120.
Hartsock, N. (1981). Political change: Two perspectives on power. In C. Bunch (Ed.), Building feminist theory: Essays from Quest, a feminist quarterly (pp. 55-70). New York: Longman.
Riger, S. (1992). Epistmological debates, feminist voies: Science, social values, and the study of women. American Psychologist, 47, 730-740.

Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:

     Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. n/a

     Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. n/a

 Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. n/a

     Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. n/a

      Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. n/a

      Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. n/a

      West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. 376-388

       Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 251-257