Pragmatism and Mediated Communication
Pragmatism, as it applies to mediated communication, is best represented through a variety of perspectives (e.g., Rorty, 1982; Roth, 1993). One is symbolic interactionism. According to it, “the self and the social environment mutually define and shape each other through symbolic communication” (Lindlof, 1995, p. 40). Meaning for the individual in his or her environment comes from practical consequences (Blumer, 1969; Rock, 1979). Meaning is negotiated. When differences in meaning become apparent in certain situations, understanding is only achieved by recognizing that these result from different past experiences of the individuals involved. In turn, diverse experiences create varied expectations. Understanding expectations and anticipated consequences requires negotiation by participants.