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Communication Begins with Children

A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook

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Edited by Thomas J. Socha and Narissra Maria Punyanunt-Carter

Communication Begins with Children: A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook seeks to transform the field of communication, arguing that the field must stop neglecting and segregating children and instead adopt an age-inclusive lifespan approach that fully includes and fully considers children in all communication theorizing, research and education from infancy and throughout the human lifespan. One-size-fits-all, adult-centric communication theorizing, researching, and educating is inadequate and harms the communication field’s potential as a social force for positive change for all communicators. The volume contains four sections (Foundations, Relational Communication Development, Digital Communication Development, and Navigating Developmental Communication Challenges) that showcase state-of-the-art chapters about the history of children’s relational and digital communication studies, methods used to study children’s communication, media literacy development, communication and children’s health, and much more. A must read for all communication researchers, educators, and students and an important addition to advanced and graduate level human and digital communication courses.

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Creating Understanding

How Communicating Aligns Minds

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Jessica Gasiorek and R. Kelly Aune

What, exactly, is understanding? And how do people create, maintain, and manipulate states of understanding via communication? This book addresses these questions, drawing on interdisciplinary scholarship in cognitive science, communication, psychology, and pragmatics. Rejecting classic descriptions of communication as "sending and receiving messages," this book proposes a novel perspective that depicts communication as a process in which interactants construct, test, and refine mental modes of a joint experience on the basis of the meme states (mental representations) activated by stimuli in social interactions. It explains how this process, when successful, results in interactants' mental models aligning, or becoming entrained—in other words, in creating a state of understanding. This framework is grounded in a set of foundational observations about evolved human cognition that highlight people's intrinsic social orientation, predisposition toward efficiency, and use of predictive interference-making. These principles are also used to explain how codified systems ("codes") emerge in extended or repeated interactions in which people endeavor to create understanding. Integrating and synthesizing research across disciplines, this book offers communication scholars and students a theoretical framework that will transform the way they see understanding, communication, and social connection.

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Yu Sasaki

Media Representations of African American Athletes in Cold War Japan addresses the cross-cultural dialogue between Black America and Japan that was enabled through sports during the Cold War era. This topic has hitherto received little scholarly attention in both American studies and sports studies. After World War II, Cold War tensions pulled African American athletes to the center stage and initiated their international mobility. They served as both athletic Cold Warriors and embodiments of a colorblind American democracy. This book focuses on sports in the Cold War era as a significant battlefield that operated as an ideologically and racially contested terrain. Yu Sasaki argues that one of the most crucial Cold War racial contacts occurred through sports in Asia, and particularly, in Japan. The mobility of African American athletes captured the attention of the Japanese media, which created unique narratives of sports and race in US-occupied Japan after World War II. Adopting an approach that integrates the archival and interpretive, Sasaki analyzes the ways in which sports, highlighted by the media, became a terrain where discourses of race, gender, and even disability were significantly modified. This book draws on both English and non-English language sources, including Japanese print media archives such as newspapers, magazines, posters, pamphlets, diaries, bulletins, and school textbooks.

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PR Women with Influence

Breaking Through the Ethical and Leadership Challenges

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Juan Meng and Marlene S. Neill

PR Women with Influence: Breaking Through the Ethical and Leadership Challenges makes a unique and timely contribution by exploring how women in public relations navigate through attitudinal, structural and social barriers in advancing their leadership roles. The book is thoroughly grounded in rich empirical evidence gained through two phases of a funded research project conducted in the field. Phase I involves 51 in-depth interviews with current female leaders in public relations and Phase II captures women’s perceptions on gender-related barriers in leadership advancement by recruiting a national panel of female public relations professionals. 

Results presented in this book provide a compelling, current picture of women and leadership in public relations. By emphasizing our discussion on key issues and barriers as related to women in PR and their leadership advancement, the authors call for real actions and change to develop a constructive ecosystem within the organization to embrace leadership for women in PR. 

Given its sharp topic focus, wealth of empirical data, and the relevance of the topic to today’s public relations profession, this book is suitable for different audiences both nationally and globally. Such audiences include but are not limited to public relations scholars, educators and professionals, both leaders and emerging leaders, men and women, young professionals, women of color, and public relations majors. This book is appropriate for senior-level undergraduate and graduate courses in public relations and communication management to facilitate critical thinking, leadership development, and gender-related topic discussion. 

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Reporting Beyond the Problem

From Civic Journalism to Solutions Journalism

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Edited by Karen McIntyre Hopkinson and Nicole Smith Dahmen

Americans say that reading, watching, or listening to the news is a leading cause of stress. Of course journalists, as watchdogs and public informants, must disseminate information that is inherently negative, but experts argue that the news media’s emphasis on the problem has had a negative effect on the public, the press itself, and democracy. At the same time, the past sixty years have seen a rise of journalistic practices that purport to cover the news beyond the typical problem-based narrative. These genres of journalistic reporting are not positive news or fluff reporting: They are rigorous reporting philosophies and practices that share a common goal—reporting beyond the problem-based narrative, thereby exemplifying a commitment to the social responsibility theory of the press, which asserts that journalists have a duty to consider society’s best interests. However, there is little academic or professional understanding of these journalistic approaches. As such, this book provides an in-depth examination of socially-responsible news reporting practices, such as constructive journalism, solutions journalism, and peace journalism. Each chapter focuses on one reporting form, defining it and detailing its evolution and status among scholars and practitioners, as well as discussing its known effects and future direction. This edited volume is the first academic book published on these forms of reporting in the United States. It provides a comprehensive resource that explores the theoretical underpinnings of these journalistic genres that grounds these approaches and allows for a coherent line of research to follow as these approaches evolve.

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Frank Sligo

Adults' literacy is a topic of great interest to multiple audiences and scholarly fields but research into it is fragmented across disparate disciplines and hence lacks coherence. In particular, an impasse exists between cognitive science researchers and economists on the one hand, and critical theorists writing in the social practice tradition. This book acknowledges the importance of these fields, then builds on them and on other scholarly traditions by locating its discussion of literacy and orality within a media ecology framework. Based on in-depth interviews within successive literacy research projects in industry and community settings with trade apprentices, their supervisors and managers, industry training coordinators, literacy tutors, and adults of liminal (threshold) literacy, this book reveals the importance of oral-experiential ways of learning, knowing and communicating that exist in complex relationships with literate practices. The tradition of media ecology as exemplified in the writings of Walter Ong, Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Michel de Certeau, Eric Havelock and a collection of contemporary scholars, provides new insights into literacy and orality. The book in exploring the everyday workplace and community environments of adults with liminal literacy demonstrates how a media ecology perspective allows adult literacy and orality to be reimagined within a deeper and more holistic way than possible within disconnected disciplinary areas.

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Edited by Stephanie G. Schartel Dunn and Gwendelyn S. Nisbett

Narratives and storytelling are how we create shared meaning and experience the world with others. Implications of narrative are vast and apply to many disciplines. The persuasive function of narrative can be seen in marketing, advertising, strategic social media, and public relations whose practitioners are using narrative based strategies to deeply engage audiences.

This interdisciplinary volume seeks to explore the range of applications and implications of using persuasive narrative and storytelling. Persuasive strategies include the use of influencers, celebrities, virtual reality, interactive games, and content marketing (among others). The authors explore the impact of the innovative strategies that persuaders are using to capture attention and actively engage audiences.

Through a variety of theoretical, qualitative, and quantitative approaches, this book focuses on the application and outcomes of narrative strategy. Ultimately we see this collection as a way to inspire narrative research into new directions and applications in media, marketing, public relations, advertising, and strategic communication fields.

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Pan-Arab News TV Station al-Mayadeen

The New Regressive Leftist Media

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Christine Crone

This book is the first comprehensive research conducted on the pan-Arab TV station al-Mayadeen – an important representative of the post-2011 generation of Arab satellite news media. Likewise, it is an investigation of a growing political trend and ideological discourse in the Arab world, which the book identifies as The New Regressive Left. The book sheds light on overlooked parts of the Arab population, which neither identified with the vision of the young activists initiating the uprisings, nor with the ambition of the growing Islamist tendency that followed. Rather it voices a grouping of Shia Muslims, religious minorities, parts of the Arab Left, secular cultural producers, and supports of the resistance movements brought together by their shared fear of the future.

Drawing on a wide variety of programmes from the station’s first four years and on interviews with staff members, the book captures how a TV station can play a role in the production of ideology through e.g. its composition of programmes, collaborations, events, iconization of cultural figures, choice of aesthetics, as well as through its recycling of cultural heritage and already existing ideological concepts. Overall, four ideological core concepts emerges, namely: the support of the resistance, the rejection of Sunni Islamism, the acceptance of authoritarianism, and the challenging of neoliberalism. Taking seriously a media outlet such as al-Mayadeen and the worldview driving an ideological discourse such as The New Regressive Left seems more acute than ever if we want to grasp the developments in a post-2011 Arab world.

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Russian Regional Journalism

Struggle and Survival in the Heartland

Elina Erzikova and Wilson Lowrey

Russian Regional Journalism: Struggle and Survival in the Heartland takes an intimate look at the enormous challenges and small victories experienced by local Russian journalists across the post-perestroika and Putin eras. The book examines 13 years of journalists’ struggles for independence and meaning as they weigh their professional goals and community obligations against their growing dependence on local elite. Russia’s sub-national levels—its provinces and communities—remain understudied but important. Local newspapers are the only means by which news reaches many rural Russians, and Russia’s "heartland" regions are a significant source of support for the current national regime. The book contributes importantly to our understanding of Russian journalism, and to our understanding of local journalism generally, an increasingly vulnerable institution in countries around the world. Russian Regional Journalism seeks answers to a number of questions: How do challenging political-economic environments constrain and guide the ways Russian journalists imagine their roles and do their work? Can journalists represent their regions in meaningful, distinct ways, and are they seeking autonomy or mere survival? How does local Russian journalism fit within the global context of local journalism? Russian Regional Journalism will serve as a valuable companion text for senior-level or graduate courses on Russian media and culture, global media, local journalism, media production, and media sociology. The book will also be of value to anyone interested in journalism’s ongoing challenges in a diverse, changing world.

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White Nationalism and Faith

Statements and Counter-Statements on American Identity

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Edited by Camille Kaminski Lewis

According to Kenneth Burke, every idea houses its opposite. "Heresies and orthodoxies will always be changing places," he imagined, "but whatever the minority view happens to be at any given time, one must consider it as 'counter.'" In other words, every tradition contains its own critique. Ideas are always in dialogue, bridging gaps that we may not have known existed until the bridges were built. And alongside those bridges are other implied ways to transfer and create meaning. To foreground that pendulum and address our contemporary political climate, White Nationalism and Faith: Statements and Counter-Statements on American Identity includes American texts which wield religious arguments in order to affirm or dismantle white supremacy. William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday, and Bob Jones as well as Barack Obama, Phil Snider, and Mitch Landrieu are just a few of the voices in dialogue. This anthology is designed for the upper-level undergraduate or master's student so that they can explore how American rhetors since the Civil War have constituted their white nationalism through religious rhetoric. With this anthology of statements and their contemporaneous counter-statements, students of public address can craft and polish the same serious but comedic lens as Kenneth Burke imagined in the twentieth century.