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Klaus Bruhn Jensen

Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication and Media Theory, Communication Studies

Key-Topics meaning

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


The title of a widely influential 1923 volume, The meaning of meaning ( Ogden & Richards 1989 ), suggested the difficulty of capturing the complex connotations of the concept of meaning. The contents of the volume, authored by a linguist and a literary critic, with appendices by anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski and medical doctor F. G. Crookshank, underscored the interdisciplinary roots and relevance of the concept. Meaning applies to issues of perception, cognition, and interaction across the natural, human, and social sciences. In contemporary communication research, meaning is perhaps most commonly associated with humanistic perspectives on the texts of communication and their interpretation by culturally specific audiences. If →  information denotes a social scientific conception of those specific differences which communication makes in later events, meaning refers to the cumulative and unitary experience that humans derive from participating in processes of communication. At least three different notions of meaning have fed into communication research from the history of ideas, paralleling three different understandings of human knowledge ( Kjørup 2001 , 20–22). First, in the domain of individual experience and existence, meaning implies a saturated sense of self . Meaning constitutes an identity, a presence, and an orientation toward other people and projects ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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