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COMM 355: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION THEORY

SPRING SEMESTER 2009

Dr. Jennifer Theiss

Office: 207 CILS

Phone: 932-7500 x8143

jtheiss@rutgers.edu

Office Hours: Thursday 11am – 1pm, or by appt.

COURSE OVERVIEW

This course offers a survey of interpersonal communication theories as they are related to identity formation and the negotiation of close relationships. As a starting point, we focus on the ways in which we come to know and understand the self. Specifically, what factors help us to form a personal identity and how do we communicate that identity to others? Then, we turn our attention to theories that explain the development and maintenance of close relationships. We will focus on the ways in which communication works to establish intimacy, to manage tensions, and to terminate personal relationships. By the end of the semester, you should have a working knowledge of the theoretical perspectives that help to characterize the self and to understand the ebb and flow of close personal relationships.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of the semester, you should be able to demonstrate:

1.

Understanding of advanced perspectives, theories, and concepts related to interpersonal and relational communication processes.

2.

Ability to use communication theories and concepts to analyze human behavior.

3.

Competency in written communication for the social sciences.

4.

Ability to apply communication theories and concepts to social and professional life.

REQUIRED READING

Guerrero, L. K., Andersen, P. A., & Afifi, W. A. (2007). Close Encounters: Communication in Relationships (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

There are also several journal articles on electronic reserve at Alexander Library. The specific articles that are required are listed in the class schedule under the author(s) name and the article title. All readings should be completed prior to class time on the day that they are assigned in the syllabus.

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