What Is Communication Competence Sample Essay

1. What do you understand by the term “Communication Compentence”? Many people see communication as just ‘talk’. This is not so, communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviour. I recently learnt that the communication field focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels and media. So a more precise definition for communication is “the management of messages for the purpose of creating meaning”.

We communicate to transmit information so that it can be received and interpreted. Therefore the main goal of communication is to share meaning and the main function of communication research is to generate new knowledge about how best to maximise the achievement of goals. A goal is nothing more than something one wishes to achieve. Communication Competence is the impression that communicative behaviour is both appropriate and effective in a given situation. This means that when information is exchanged between individuals (during the communication process), it is properly/correctly understood and interpreted.

This shows that communication is only effective when it achieves the desired goal/goals, and is appropriate when it thoroughly projects what is expected in a situation. From my point of view, communication competence is truly dependent upon the context in which the interaction takes place. Perceptions of competence depend in part on personal motivation , knowledge and skills. This is true because if we are motivated when communicating we may be more confident and our communication skills will be improved.

Knowledge is obviously important because the more knowledge we have about how to behave in a given circumstance, the more likely we are to develop successful communication competence. Skill is important also because we need to know how to act in ways that are consistent with our communication knowledge. In addition to skills, knowledge and motivation we must be able to communicate with social ease. This is communicating without anxiety or nervousness. If we are unable to communicate with social ease, we would not be referred to as competent communicators despite being motivated, skilled, and knowledgeable.

Functionalist View On Family

The functionalist perspective examines and evaluates the role of the family in society. This perspective has a broader sociological approach and specifically highlights the importance of the nuclear family (a married couple and their children), the universal nature of families, changes in family roles over time, and how nuclear families fit into modern society. Parsons suggests that the theory of “fit” indicates that the current structure of families best meets the economic needs of today.

According to Parsons, the nuclear family is well-suited for an industrial economy because they can easily relocate and are not dependent on extended family. This allows family members to move to new areas where there is work available. Parsons argues that only the nuclear family can provide the necessary drive for success that modern economies require. In contrast, Wilmott and Young argue that the pre-industrial family was often nuclear, with parents and children working together in cottage industries like weaving, rather than being extended as Parsons suggests.

According to the authors, the challenges faced during the early stages of industrialization led to the formation of a working-class extended family centered around mothers. These families were built on the reliance between mothers and their married daughters, who provided each other with financial, practical, and emotional support. Hareven’s research further supports this idea by suggesting that extended families, rather than nuclear families as stated by Parsons, were better suited to meet the requirements of early industrial society. In America during the 19th Century, extended migrant families acted as a crucial source of support and assistance while also facilitating geographical mobility for newcomers by helping them find employment.

According to the functionalist perspective, the role of family in society is evaluated through the opinions of other sociologists. Functionalists believe that the nuclear family performs beneficial functions for individuals and society as a whole. They view the family as working harmoniously with other institutions to meet societal and individual needs. Murdock supports this idea by stating that the family is a universal institution, based on his research on 250 societies where he found some form of family present in all of them.

The idea is that families are crucial for either societies to survive or individuals to thrive. However, Murdock’s view on families has some flaws given the different types of families found in today’s society, such as single-parent, beanpole, and extended families. Additionally, Murdock suggests that families serve four main functions – a theory rooted in the organic analogy where the family and its members contribute to maintaining society’s well-being.

Murdock argues that the family serves various crucial functions. Firstly, it acts as a stable and satisfying channel for sexual desires within a committed relationship, thereby preventing social upheaval resulting from unrestricted sexual behavior. Secondly, it guarantees the continuation of future generations since society would cease to exist without this function. Additionally, families play a significant role in educating young individuals about societal norms and values through socialization. Moreover, families are accountable for fulfilling their members’ economic requirements by offering sustenance and housing. All in all, this underscores and evaluates the functionalist viewpoint on the family’s societal role.

Some sociologists have criticized Murdock’s functionalist approach for its limited perspective on the universality of the family, as it disregards various family structures like single parent families. O’Donnell reports that in 1994, one out of every five families with dependent children in Britain was led by a single parent. Bourne also concurs with this idea, asserting that single parent families are prevalent in western societies. In 1996, 11% of the British population resided in such households, and this figure has since doubled.

Additionally, with the advancement of society’s industrialization, the state gradually assumed traditional responsibilities. An illustration of this is the requirement for children to attend school rather than receiving education from family members, resulting in the family losing its educational role. Parson counteracts Murdock’s theory by asserting that in contemporary industrialized societies, the family’s role has become specialized. Parson contends that regardless of the society, every family has two fundamental and indispensable functions.

Primary socialisation involves the transmission of norms, values, and gender roles to children. Girls are taught to behave femininely while boys learn how to present themselves as masculine. Mothers play an instrumental and expressive role, while fathers are the family’s breadwinners. This phase is when children acquire the fundamental aspects of their culture. However, Parsons’ perspective on socialisation is criticized for its determinism, suggesting that children are heavily influenced by adults who shape their personalities through cultural indoctrination.

Parson overlooks the potential for socialization to involve negotiation of roles and the resistance of children towards attempts at socialization. Additionally, the role of family in society provides stability for adult personalities by offering support to family members. The family offers a safe haven where individuals can escape societal stress and relaxation, which is referred to as the “warm bath” theory.

According to Marxist sociologist Zaretsky, the family offers emotional support to its members in order to motivate them to endure the challenges of Capitalism. This implies that the family serves the capitalist state by attending to the welfare of exploited workers without cost to employers. In contrast, some sociologists critique the theories presented by Murdock and Parsons, suggesting that alternative sources, institutions, and individuals can fulfill many of the identified functions. Consequently, families may not be necessary for financial support, which can result in dysfunction.

Marxists and feminists challenge the consensus view of Murdock, which portrays the family as fulfilling the needs of both its members and society. They argue that functionalism overlooks conflict, exploitation, and the negative aspects of the family, where many families experience disruption. Functionalists emphasize the positive aspects of the family, similar to how New Right sociologists believe it to be the foundation of society. Conversely, Marxists perceive the family as part of the ideological state apparatus, serving as a tool for social control and supporting capitalism. Feminists also diverge from functionalism by asserting that the family perpetuates inequality and patriarchy. Sociologists have extensively explored the “dark side” of family dynamics, where individuals may feel abused and unable to pursue their desired lives. For instance, feminists view the family as serving men’s needs while oppressing women, while Marxists argue that it primarily caters to the demands of capitalism rather than its members or society as a whole. Thus, this analysis examines and assesses the functionalist viewpoint on the role of family in society.

In conclusion, functionalist analyses of the nuclear family tend to focus on the middle class and American conceptions of family, while disregarding other factors such as ethnicity, social class, or religion. For instance, Parsons overlooks the influence of wealth or poverty on whether women choose to stay home and care for their children. Since Parsons formulated his theory in the 1950’s, western societies in the UK have become increasingly multicultural with the influx of various ethnicities, subcultures, and religions through migration. As a result, Parsons’ perspective on the family’s role in society holds little relevance in contemporary UK society.

Butters V. Mncora Case In South African Law

Mr Butters, the appellant, and Ms Mncora, the respondent, cohabitated for nearly two decades without being officially married. During their time together, Butters managed a business while Mncora took care of the household and raised their children. Following the end of their relationship, the respondent asserted her right to fifty percent of the appellant’s assets by arguing that they had formed an implicit universal partnership.

The appellant is appealing the claim of a tacit universal partnership between him and the respondent. However, the appellant is not appealing the percentage of his estate awarded to Ms Mncora or the delictual damages for breach of promises. June Sinclair in The Law of Marriage Vol 1 274 highlights that South African family law does not typically protect and support unmarried cohabiting couples, regardless of the duration of their relationship.

The issue of property sharing between parties can be seen in the case Volks NO v Robinson 2005 (5) BCLR 446 (CC) at para 20. There are two types of property sharing: societas universorum bonorum, where all present and future property is shared, and societas universorum quae ex quaestu veniunt, where only property acquired during the partnership is shared. This case pertains to the first principle.

Pothier stated that in order to determine the existence of a universal partnership, three key factors must be demonstrated. Firstly, each party must contribute either money, labor, or skill to the partnership. Secondly, the partnership should bring benefits to both parties involved. Lastly, it is essential that a profit is made.

According to Roman Dutch law, universal partnerships of all property, which go beyond commercial undertakings, were and still are an integral part of our legal system. Such partnerships can be established implicitly through the behavior of the involved parties, just like any other type of contract.

The requirements needed to form a universal partnership between cohabitees are the same requirements used to establish partnerships in general, as proposed by Pothier. An ipse dixit is an individual’s statement that lacks further evidence of its validity. In paragraph 27, the majority mentions that the appellant will make any claim to strengthen his case against the respondent.

The key finding in this case was that the appellant’s silence and actions led the respondent to believe that she agreed to share in his profits, implying a universal partnership. The ruling also acknowledges that laws protecting cohabiting partners are not equivalent to those for married couples and that a universal partnership differs from a marriage sharing property.

The minority judges determined that the appellant had founded, operated, and achieved success in the business without assistance from the respondent. This minority reasoned that if Ms Mncora had not caught Mr Butters with another woman, Mr Butters would have likely continued supporting the respondent financially for the rest of her life.

According to the minority’s perspective, there was no evidence to refute the appellant’s claim that the parties did not share everything. However, I side with the majority’s decision because the appellant had never given any indication or behaved in a way that would lead the respondent to believe they were not in a universal partnership. Throughout their 20-year relationship, Ms Mncora had been raising Mr Butters’ children, and he had even proposed to her.

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