“Communication Theory is Useless”: Four reasons that is not true – PART II

Reason 2: Hermeneutic

Book clubs are a shared study or interpretation of texts. Book clubs align with the hermeneutic communication theories, which Stanley Baran and Dennis Davis describe as “the study of understanding, especially through the systematic interpretation of actions or texts” (Baran & Davis, 2011, p. 13). Understanding and interpreting texts, as well as understanding how others understand and interpret, is the goal book clubs work to achieve with regular meetings.


Book clubs may not be commonly associated with hermeneutic theory but like gossip as an example of post-positivist theory, communication theories play a role in many common day-to-day activities and habits. Communication theory has played a role in personal and professional life for centuries, which will be demonstrated in the following example. There are many modern examples of the role of critical theory but to highlight the prevalence of communication theory through the ages, the example of critical theory comes from the nineteenth century.

Stay tuned for the next reason communications theory isn’t useless. It will be up next Tuesday and it’s going to be a “Salute to The Salvation Army”.

What have you missed?


            Reason 1

All Citations – Full Series

Baran, S. J., & Davis, D. K. (2011). Mass communication theory: foundations, ferment, and future (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

Baxter, L. A., & Braithwaite, D. O. (Eds.). (2008). Engaging theories in interpersonal communication: multiple perspectives. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Ellis, S. (2007). Onward, Christian Soldiers. British Heritage27, 18-24. Retrieved January 17, 2014, from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.msvu.ca/docview/217034325

Horkheimer, M. (1982). Critical Theory. New York: Seabury Press.

Lorre, C., & Prady, B. (2011). The Herb Garden Germination [Television series episode]. In Big Bang Theory. New York City: CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Marks, L. (1991). The Knights of Labor and the Salvation Army: Religion and Working-Class Culture in Ontario, 1882-1890. Labour/Le Travail, 89-127.

Waddington, K., & Michaelson, G. (2012).Gossip and organizations. New York: Routledge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s