Development Cooperation Handbook/Cooperation and Communication/The three major varieties of communication

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Depending on which one of the intended result of the intention of communicating we can distinguish three main modalities of communication pragmatics:

  • Propaganda: When we aim at convincing their counterpart in a modality that responds to our interests or convictions.
  • Information: When we want to be as impersonal as possible, where what really matters is the "objective" content of the communication and the human relationship amongst the actors is not considered important (and not made explicit).
  • Education: When the communication is a service given to the beneficiaries, with the objective of enlarging three horizon of possibilities and choices .


In a gratifying human relationship the counterparts are able to shift roles and change the amongst these three fundamental modalities in order to better achieve their objective and reinforce their social identity.

However each one of these modality has  its own adequate methodology; the approach that can be considered adequate in one modality may be counterproductive in the other modality.

Communication is never an objective in itself, but it is always a means to produce an effect, that according to the three modalities of human relationship that we identified can be:

  • increase the power of the protagonist by generating persuasion in the target audience;
  • allow the counterpart to make informed choices by providing knowledge of facts and intentions;
  • educate so that the counterpart can extend her/his horizon of possible choices.

See also[edit]

Issues icon.jpg Issues 9 ⇒ Media and the international communication climate

Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg In other sections of this handbook ⇒ Organization development
Script.png In the documentary story ⇒ The project objectives

600X WIKIPEDIA LOGO.svg In Wikipedia ⇒ Organization development

Wikibooks on other Wikibooks

Testimonials[edit]

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