A FIELD THEORY OF COMMUNICATION 22g
tor will pause long enough to invite participation. In conversation, the speaker is a listener; the listener is a speaker.
In a conference the transaction is more complicated. The talk is not back and forth; it moves in various directions.
A conference moves, usually, from information, to opinions concerning the applications, etc., of the information, to plans for action. To put this in the language of field theory, we move, usually, from a problematical situation which is expressible as a cause to effect relationship; to the making and the evaluation of possible means to end programs, thus to move in the direction of action that will lead to the desired goal.
Pattern stabilizes the whole procedure. Feedforward and feedback aim at eventual consensus concerning a plan of action. Participants move from designators, to appraisors, to prescriptors. The designators provide the area of agreement. The only requirements here are that the facts be accurately presented and that the facts be those which are pertinent to the problem. We have x number of men under employment; we need y number to fill our contracts. The movement from facts to opinions occurs when questions are entertained. Where will we get the men? How shall we proceed? Shall we ''import" them? Shall we move our plant to another location where labor is more plentiful? Shall we cut down on output? Here, of course, there is opportunity for disagreement. Field theory has this to offer:
The communication process is circular. When an impasse occurs, get back to a point of agreement. This means, get back to relevant facts in connection with the problem. Or, assemble new information that relates to the proposed