Styles of Communication, Vol 3, No 1 (2011)

La théorie distanciatrice/ The Theory of Distanciation

Jean-Luc Michel


The theory of distanciation can be embedded within the sciences of information and communication. It provides a model of shaping the phenomena of media reception and actually, of every form of communication based on a continuous variation which is dependent on the functions of distanciation, identification, or projection. This theory was born within the educational environment, its starting point being the observations and the experiments with pupils or teachers. Its heuristic force has been often proved in different domains, such as advertising, management, human resources, strategy, and vision. Throughout the years, the domains where the theory of distanciation can be applied, have been extended and its theoretical framework has been refined. This article has a threefold aim: to provide some insights into the genesis of this theory, to explain the main concepts, and to offer some example where the theory of distanciation has been used.  


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