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October 2021

Communication theory as a Field

Journal/Book: Communication Theory. 1999; 9: 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012, USA. Guilford Publications Inc. 119-161.

Abstract: This essay reconstructs communication theory as a dialogical-dialectical field according to two principles: the constitutive model of communication as a metamodel and theory as metadiscursive practice. The essay argues that all communication theories are mutually relevant when addressed to a practical lifeworld in which ''communication'' is already a richly meaningful term. Each tradition of communication theory derives from and appeals rhetorically to certain commonplace beliefs about communication while challenging other beliefs. The complementarities and tensions among traditions generate a theoretical metadiscourse that intersects with and potentially, informs the ongoing practical metadiscourse in society In a tentative schedule of the field, rhetorical, semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetic, sociopsychological, sociocultural, and critical traditions of communication theory are distinguished by characteristic ways of defining communication and problems of communication, metadiscoursive vocabularies, and metadiscoursive commonplaces that they appeal to and challenge. Topoi for argumentation across traditions are suggested and implications for theoretical work and disciplinary practice in the field are considered.

Note: Article Craig RT, Univ Colorado, Dept Commun, Boulder,CO 80309 USA

Keyword(s): NO RESPECT; PRACTICAL THEORY; MEDIA; DISCIPLINARITY; JOURNALS; QUESTION


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