Transmission and Ritual Communication

Term: Communication


Transmission View of Communication: Communication is the transmission of signals or messages over distance for the purpose of control

  • Terms: “imparting”, “sending”, “transmitting”, or “giving information to other”

Ritual View of Communication: Communication is directed not toward the extension of messages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time

  • Terms: “sharing”, “participation”, “association”, “fellowship”, and “possession of a common faith”

Media/Media Analysis


The transmission view of communication is the definition of communication that comes to most people’s minds. The Shannon Weaver Model of Communication illustrates the idea of transmission communication. In the communication process model, the sender transmits information or message over a certain distance through a communication channel to a receiver in a different destination.  Although the transmission view of communication has remained the same, the introduction of digital media and technology has made this communication process more efficient. Improvements in communication channels have allowed the communication process to become quicker and more convenient. A great example is international communication. My parents immigrated to America from Taiwan and have many family members or friends back in Taiwan. In the past, there were significantly less options to contact people in other countries. In order to communicate with family and friends back home, my parents would usually mail letters or use international calling cards. With the introduction of new technologies such the Internet and social media, information can be disseminated in real-time in an instant. Now, my parents can communicate through instant messages or video chat. Although the transmission view of communication remains the same – a sender is still transmitting information to a receiver, we are now able to disseminate more information faster than ever and more conveniently.


The ritual view of communication is the less known definition of communication. It is described as a representation of shared beliefs and draws people together in fellowship. Although the ritual view of communication is referred to as archaic, it can be still be applied to many different digital media platforms and online communities today. The ritual view of communication can be seen in social media sites such as Twitter. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that allows the establishment and maintenance of social interactions. Twitter users are allowed to share their opinions and ideas as well as participate in discussion through tweets. People can also participate in conservations by re-tweeting or favoriting tweets. In addition, users can build associations and fellowship through the process of following other accounts. Furthermore, Twitter stayed updated on trending and popular topics. Overall, Twitter draws people from all over the world together and fosters online community.