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The paper examines what it means to adopt a relational perspective in the study of animal and human communication. First it states that the informational view which dominates the study of animal communication leads to cut apart the biological, the cognitive and the social parts of social communication. When it comes to human nonverbal communication, it is difficult then to articulate its biological and the cultural dimensions. Following Ingold I argue that in order to go beyond the “natural pattern vs cultural rules or meaning” conception of human nonverbal communication, we need to rely on a relational view. But what is a relational view in the study of communication? In the final part of the paper, I suggest that social relationships are both subjective and objective entities and, drawing on an original paper by Kaufmann and Clément (2008, in press), I offer a hypothesis on how social communication could operate to objectively and subjectively organize the construction of social relationships.
Pour citer cet article :Servais Véronique (2007/2-3). The Report and the Command: the Case for a Relational View in the Study of Communication. In Clément Fabrice & Kaufmann Laurence (Eds), Culture and Society : Some Viewpoints of Cognitive Scientists, Intellectica, 46-47, (pp.85-104), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2007.1279.