Citicism of Karl Deutsch Communication Theory

Citicism of Karl Deutsch Communication Theory:

Karl Deutsch’s communication theory has been criticized on several grounds. S. P. Verma gives the following points of criticism in his book “Modern Political Theory”-

(1) “The theory has attached far greater importance to the area of pattern maintenance i.e. stability and equilibrium. But in a matter of revolutionary change, the approach does not go very far. Thus, communication theory can deal with problems of pattern maintenance fairly well, of evolutionary change, with some difficulty, but would find it very difficult to deal with problems of revolutionary change.

(2) Second major criticism of communication theory is that “it is far too mechanistic in nature, and has tried to give an essentially engineering orientation to human behaviour. Deutsch has tried to apply it to the study of political phenomena. The approach is, therefore, “an attempt to transfer bodily something from the sphere of electrical engineering to that of social science”.

(3) The communication theory has been also condemned by Oran R. Young. He says, “The approach is quite frequently criticized for being mechanistic and for elaborating an essentially engineering orientation toward human behaviour. He further says that much of the explanation does not answer the critic’s point of view. It does not, however, satisfy the criticism which suggests that models of inanimate processes are somewhat inadequate as analogous to human behaviour. The Deutschian approach still presents problems along these lines. It offers a model that seems far more manipulate than most actual political operations; it often seems to discount irrational, fortuitous or random behaviour, and, above all, it does not deal adequately with the nuances of human thought processes, the psychological consequences of world views and value systems, the subtleties of political leadership, and nebulous quantity of many relations”.

(4) The second point of criticism highlighted by Young is that the communication approach focuses its attention on the decision-making processes rather than on the outcome of the decisions. Young says, “The content of specific communication between two actors in a political system is frequently of equal or greater importance to the nature of their relationship than the sheer volume of transactions between them”.

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