The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 19, Issue 1/4, 2003

Special Issue on Gregory Bateson

James A. Anderson
Pages 35-67

An Ecology of Communication
An Acknowledgement of Gregory Bateson

Written from a post-modern perspective, this article makes use of the concepts of obligation, subject position, line of action, discursive form, sentient agent, exchange, mediating technology, intentionality, improvisational performance, and communicative routines to produce an overarching theory of communication and its processes. The work of the article is to develop the linkages among these concepts and founds this analysis in ethnographic research. It concludes that the process of communication occurs inside a nexus of obligation from relational subject positions within some line of action regularly involving a discursive form. It is enacted by two or more sentient agents performing an exchange often utilizing a mediating technology under the intentionality of an improvisational performance of a pre-existing communicative routine.

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