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Modalities and Offshoots of Communication in the Lifeworld: Meaning, Experience, and Interaction


ISBN: 978-1-78635-786-1, eISBN: 978-1-78635-785-4

Publication date: 30 May 2017


This chapter elaborates a phenomenological framework for the concept of “communication” by drawing mainly on the notion “lifeworld,” created by Husserl and developed by Habermas. The concept of “lifeworld” is approached as a communication-grounded idea.

The chapter is a theoretical essay, grounded mainly on bibliographical research. Main sources are the two volumes of Habermas’ The Theory of Communicative Action (Habermas, 1987), seconded by other works by the German philosopher and some commentators as Stein (2004) e Pizzi (2006). The chapter endeavors to show that the phenomenological notion of “lifeworld” might be key to a critical understanding of main constructivist approaches in communication theory. It could be particularly illuminating where the focus is on a “reality,” which results from intersubjective interactions in everyday life. Most communication theories are media-centered, which means that they regard the “media,” both in its technical and institutional aspects as the main focus of the communication process. This chapter argues that the “lifeworld” is a far broader way to understand communication as a form of social interaction, whether mediated by media technologies or not. The chapter discusses the concept of “lifeworld,” framing its relational and communicative aspects as fundamental to the notion of “reality” as an interactive social creation. It also proposes the understanding of “communication” grounded on this phenomenological notion. Finally, it discusses some problems and limits of this approach, offering an alternative approach to conventional communication theory.



Marques, Â.C.S. and Martino, L.M.S. (2017), "Modalities and Offshoots of Communication in the Lifeworld: Meaning, Experience, and Interaction", Brazil (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 305-324.



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