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Communication as ...
Perspectives on Theory



© 2006 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

What does it mean to argue that communication is organizing? Or ritual? Or failure? What is at stake in choosing one metaphor or stance over another? What is gained and what is lost - for the field, for the theories themselves, and especially for humans communicating in everyday contexts? In Communication as...: Perspectives on Theory, editors Gregory J. Shepherd, Jeffrey St. John, and Ted Striphas bring together a collection of 27 essays that explores the wide range of theorizing about communication, cutting across all lines of traditional division in the field.

The essays in this text are written by leading scholars in the field of communication theory, with each scholar employing a particular stance or perspective on what communication theory is and how it functions. In essays that are brief, argumentative, and forceful, the scholars propose their perspective as a primary or essential way of viewing communication with decided benefits over other views.
 
Key Features:

  • Compares and contrasts different metaphorical views on the theory and practice of communication, challenging students to develop their own argument about communication theory
  • Promotes an alternative way of examining communication problems - through the engaged interplay of a diversity of positions - encouraging readers to think through contemporary problems and questions in the field
  • Compels readers to confront competing theoretical positions and their consequences head-on rather than outlining theories in ways that might separate them from their real-world consequences

Communication as... is an excellent textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on communication theory in the fields of Communication, Journalism, Sociology, and Psychology.


 

 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
Part I: Making
Celeste M. Condit
1. Relationality
Eric W. Rothenbuhler
2. Ritual
Gregory J. Shepherd
3. Transcendence
Katherine Miller
4. Constructive
Robert T. Craig
5. A Practice
 
Part II: Materializing
Carole Blair
6. Collective Memory
Cara A. Finnegan
7. Vision
Carolyn Marvin
8. Embodiment
Judith N. Martin & Thomas K. Nakayama
9. Raced
Jake Harwood
10. Social Identity
Jonathan Sterne
11. Techne
 
Part III: Contextualizing
Leslie A. Baxter
12. Dialogue
Arthur P. Bochner & Carolyn S. Ellis
13. Autoethnography
Eric E. Peterson & Kristin M. Langellier
14. Storytelling
James R. Taylor
15. Complex Organizing
David R. Seibold & Karen Kroman Myers
16. Structuring
 
Part IV: Politicizing
Todd Kelshaw
17. Political Participation
John Gastil
18. Deliberation
James W. Dearing
19. Diffusion
Frank Boster
20. Social Influence
Robert C. Rowland
21. Rational Argument
Daniel C. Brouwer
22. Counterpublic
 
Part V: Questioning
John Durham Peters
23. Dissemination
Jennifer Daryl Slack
24. Articulation
Ted Striphas
25. Translation
Briankle G. Chang
26. Communicability
Jeffrey St. John
27. Failure
 
Index
 
About the Editors
 
About the Contributors

"Communication as… is an excellent way to introduce students to various perspectives in the discipline. It makes the point that there is no right or wrong way to study communication but that the different perspectives are all legitimate and useful."
 
--Sonja K. Foss, University of Colorado at Denver

Sonja K. Foss
University of Colorado at Denver

"These shorter, more informal discussions of the implications of certain metaphors and analogies for communication theory will be very useful for stimulating critical thinking and generating interesting classroom discussions."

--Bradford "J" Hall, University of New Mexico

Bradford "J" Hall
University of New Mexico

"This book provides incomparably unique and original perspectives explained by core scholars in their fields."

Do Kyun Kim, Ph.D.
University of Louisiana - Lafayette

Too abstract

Dr Geoff Leatham
Communication Studies Dept, University Of Rhode Island
October 3, 2014

Very useful for graduate level theory course

Dr Carolyn Cunningham
Communication Arts Dept, Gonzaga University
May 17, 2012
Key features
  • By comparing and contrasting different metaphorical stances on the theory and practice of communication, students are challenged to posit their own argument about communication theory.
  • This collection seeks an alternative way of engaging communication problems: through the engaged interplay of a diversity of positions.  The volume includes a wide variety of perspectives on communication and its theorization, and each essay posits an argument about communication theory.  In effect, the book promotes a stakeholder model for thinking through contemporary problems and questions in the field.
  • Rather than outlining theories in ways that might (unintentionally) divorce them from their real-world consequences, readers confront competing theoretical positions and their consequences head-on.  What in fact does it mean to argue that communication is organizing?  Or ritual?  Or failure?  What is at stake in choosing one metaphor, or stance, over another?  What is gained and what is lost— for the field, for the theories themselves, and especially for humans communicating in everyday contexts?

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