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50 Ways to Understand Communication: A Guided Tour of Key Ideas and Theorists in Communication, Media, and Culture [Hardcover]

Arthur Asa Berger professor emeritus San Francisco State University

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Book Description

Feb. 20 2006 074254107X 978-0742541078
Is consciousness like an iceberg? Does advertising lead to the commodification of humans? What is the hidden meaning of fairy tales? In 50 Ways to Understand Communication, Arthur Asa Berger familiarizes readers with important concepts written by leading communication and cultural theorists, such as Saussure, LZvi-Strauss, de Certeau, Lasswell, McLuhan, Postman, and many others. Organized in fifty short segments, this concise guide covers a wide range of important ideas from psychoanalysis and semiology to humor, 'otherness,' and nonverbal communication. Berger's clear explanations and examples surround this assortment of influential writing, walking the uninitiated through these sometimes dense theoretical works. His selections and commentary will challenge readers to reconsider the role of communication in our culture. This engaging, accessible book is essential for students of communication and anyone interested in how we communicate in a world of rapidly changing media.

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Product Description


Arthur Asa Berger's choice of 50 prominent thinkers about communication is an intellectual journey from Aristotle to McLuhan with stops along the way at such road posts as Freud, Jung, and many of today's eminent communication scholars. Berger has selected a key writing from each and includes his own analysis and perspective of their work. The book includes exercises for students and is a clear requisite for any introductory course on communication. (A. Michael Noll, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California)

I have been waiting for a book like this for eight to ten years! Finally, a text that is accessible to undergraduates who are new to the emerging discipline of culture and communication and yet honors the complexity of that discipline's roots, central questions, and broad reach. (Marie Garland, Ithaca College)

Communication theory is an ideal subject for Arthur Asa Berger, because—as any reader will soon discover—he is a genius at communicating complex ideas simply, directly, and with a unique sense of humor. (Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs)

About the Author

Arthur Asa Berger is professor emeritus of broadcast and electronic communication arts at San Francisco State University.

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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very hard to understand Aug. 17 2012
By Mom of 2 Boys - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To me, this was poorly written, much of the writing was incomplete or scattered. I had to look up everything online to understand it, therefore negating the need for a textbook. Very disappointed in this purchase.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book Feb. 22 2009
By MrsFranc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a communication major I loved this book. It is the 50 most basic and famous theories of communication. It has been one of my favorite college texts, and is a great resource for my other papers. There is an article at the beginning of each chapter by a famous theorist, and then Berger explains the theory and makes some comments of his own opinion. The chapters are usually about 3 pages.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great price, arrived quickly in great shape Sept. 28 2011
By olderstudent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought I bought this book used but it looked new to me and arrived quickly. The book itself is a great compilation of different researchers on various aspects of communication, as well as theories. Each chapter is only a few pages, short and sweet and easy to understand.

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