Starting with the premise that we live in communication (rather than standing outside communication and using it for secondary purposes), Pearce claims that people who live in various cultures and historical epochs not only communicate differently but experience different ways of being human because they communicate differently.
This century, he notes, ushered in the "communication revolution," the discovery that communication is far more important and central to the human condition than ever before realized. Essential to the communication revolution is the recognition that multiple forms of discourse exist in contemporary human society. Further, these forms of discourse are not benign; they comprise alternative ways of being human.
Thus communication theory must encompass all that it "means to live a life, the shape of social institutions and cultural traditions, the pragmatics of social action, and the poetics of social order."