Cultural Anthropology

Communication and Community Formation

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"Communication and Community Formation"
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The role of Interpersonal communication in Creation and inhibition of human community formation

The term community could be described as "a group of people having a common interest and living together in a geographical setting within the context of a larger society'.

From the above it becomes obvious that the Community consists of persons having aggregate interests and goals with generally accepted methods for the realization of these goals.

A successful community formation no doubt involves the interaction of persons within the locality. The level of success or otherwise recorded in the formation of a community is largely determined by the way messages, information, and ideas are transmitted from a source (Encoder) to the receiver (Decoder).

All human society thrives on the basis that meaning is shared and understood by persons within a community, when this is realized there is the tendency that it would lead to a reduction in incidence of discord, which ultimately would result to a more harmonious co-habitation of all the people within the group. A peaceful community gives room for the fulfillment of individual aspiration of its members thereby leading to self fulfillment in career, etc.

However, noble human intentions might be, when meanings are not properly shared between persons, even the best of intention would certainly fail in achieving its desired goals.

Having stated that the concept of Community presupposes a common interest binding all within a geographical setting, it therefore means no successful community can be formed in the absence of good interpersonal communication skills. Having a common interest among members of a group whether political, cultural or spiritual is only possible to the extent that people are able to communicate effectively.

Interpersonal communication which is the transmission of message(s), ideas, and information from one person to another while being the basis for the successful formation of a community can also inhibit the formation of same.

Communication between persons is vital to the formation of the community when meaning as intended by the sender is understood by the receiver with little or no difference as intended by the former, giving rise to a point of convergence of ideas.

Conversely, information, message(s) and ideas, when not properly communicated leading to what is usually referred to as Communication gap' is likely to create mistrust and fears in the minds of the group, under this condition meaning as intended by the sender is interpreted differently by the receiver. This trend certainly does not encourage a mutual cohabitation among persons living within a geographical setting.

For a mutual existence of persons within a community, message(s), information and ideas should be communicated by a sender making sure that noise if not entirely filtered out from the message, should be reduced to a level where meaning would not be interrupted.

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