Communication Research and Practice

by Adrienne Shaw (Volume editor) D. Travers Scott (Volume editor)
©2018 Textbook XII, 290 Pages


This volume brings together a range of papers that fruitfully engage with the theme of the 2017 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, held in San Diego, California: Interventions. Here "intervention" points to a range of communication practices that engage with a political event, social phenomena, industrial or socio-cultural practice, in order to alter and disrupt events and the norms and practices that contribute to their occurrence.  Interventions prohibit events from proceeding in a "normal" course. Interventions approach or critique practices and phenomenon resulting from tensions or absences occurring in: events, structures, (institutional governmental, media industry), discourses, and socio-cultural and subcultural events. Intervention presents the opportunity to explore boundaries, assumptions and strategies that appear to be different or irreconcilable, viewing them instead as possibilities for productive engagements. Communication interventions—in both research and practice—insert insights from diverse voices, marginal positions, emerging organizational practices and digital technologies, to broaden and enrich dialogue. Interventions bring complex reframings to events and phenomenon. Interventions seek to alter a course and effect changed practices in a range of spheres: governmental and social institutions, cultural and nongovernmental groups; industry and organizational life, new media and digital spaces, socio-cultural environments, subcultural groups, health environments, affective and behavioral life, and in everyday life.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • List of Tables
  • Interventions: Introduction (D. Travers Scott / Adrienne Shaw)
  • Interventions in Communication Studies
  • Interventions in Theory
  • Interventions in Policy
  • Interventions in Space
  • Interventions in Practice
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Part I: Interventions in Communication Studies
  • 1. Interventions in Communication: ICA’s Scholarly Innovations That Interrupt, Resituate, Alter Results, and Incite Social Change (Paula M. Gardner)
  • Drawing on ICA Legacies of Intervention
  • Feminist Transnational Postcolonial Meets Communication Scholarship
  • Multimodal Approaches Addressing Cultural Hegemony and Digital Exclusions and Divides
  • Advancing Communication and Social Change Scholarship
  • From Organizational Disruption to Nation Building
  • Democracy: Participation, Deliberation, Populist Movements
  • Expanding Justice Scholarship: Victim Studies, Immigration, Social Justice
  • Conclusion: Absences, Reflection, and Moving Forward
  • Note
  • References
  • 2. The Structure of the International Communication Association—2016: A Network Analysis (Ke Jiang / George A. Barnett)
  • Past Research
  • Method
  • Data
  • Procedure for Social Network Analysis
  • Procedure of Semantic Network Analysis
  • Results
  • Affiliation Network
  • Co-authorship by Country
  • Divisions/Interest Groups by Countries
  • Semantic Networks
  • Discussion
  • References
  • 3. How Do We Intervene in the Stubborn Persistence of Patriarchy in Communication Scholarship? (Vicki Mayer / Andrea Press / Deb Verhoeven / Jonathan Sterne)
  • Who Are the People in Our Neighborhood?
  • Systematic Erasures
  • Interventions: Wanted and Unwanted
  • Notes
  • References
  • 4. Toward Africa Continental Academic Body and Africa-Centered Scholarship: The Case for Internal and External Collaboration in Research and Practice (Agnes Lucy Lando / Miriam Kwena Ayieko)
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Findings from the Post-ICAfrica 2016 Survey
  • How to Improve African Continental Academic Bodies
  • Survey Scenario and What the Findings Mean
  • Why an African Communication Continental Academic Body?
  • Why ICAfrica is Important for Africa and for ICA
  • Origination and Purpose of the ICAfrica 2016 Conference
  • Why This Region?
  • What Kind of Continental Communication Body Do We Recommend?
  • The Amy-Attitude-Effect
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Part II: Interventions in Theory
  • 5. Intersectional Borders: A Challenge to the Field of Communication and Media Studies (Angharad N. Valdivia)
  • Notes
  • References
  • 6. Voicing Communal Wisdom in Communication Scholarship: Theorizing African Cultural Noesis in Research and Practice (Bala A. Musa)
  • Looking Back to the Future
  • Communal Wisdom and African Noesis
  • Applications
  • Communal Wisdom in Civic Communication and Social Justice
  • Communal Wisdom in Conflict Transformation
  • Communal Wisdom and Health Communication
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • 7. Hearing the Real: Tanya Tagaq and the Cultural Politics of Wish Sounds (Clare O’Connor)
  • Animality and Abjection
  • Venerating the Other
  • Activating the Wish
  • Wish Sounds
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Part III: Interventions in Policy
  • 8. Anatomy of a Failed Intervention: The FCC Revisits Municipal Broadband (Ryan Ellis)
  • Rethinking Municipal Broadband: The FCC Shifts Course
  • The FCC’s Municipal Broadband Order and the Importance of Sequence
  • Conclusion: Anatomy of a Failure
  • Notes
  • References
  • 9. Exploring the Disability Digital Divide: Research That Impacts Interventions Through Policy and Practice (Susan B. Kretchmer / Tomasz Drabowicz)
  • Previous Research on the Disability Digital Divide
  • U.S. Government Research
  • Academic Research
  • Research Questions
  • Data and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • The Value of Disaggregating the Disability Digital Divide
  • Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors Impact Divergent Groups Differently
  • The Relevance of the Presence of Home Internet Service Technologies
  • The Need for Further Rigorous, Nuanced Research
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • 10. Exploring Digital Interventions in Mental Health: A Roadmap (Marisa Brandt / Luke Stark)
  • Introduction: Mental Health in the Digital Age
  • Diverse Approaches in Communication to Digital Mental Health
  • Critical Interventions in Digital Psychology: Four Case Studies
  • Conclusion: A Communication Roadmap for Studying Digital Mental Health
  • References
  • 11. From Company-Mandated Equality to Employees’ Perceived Equality: How Internal Public Relations Make a Difference to Transgender Employees (Bethany Grace Howe)
  • Literature Review
  • Theories for the Transgender Workplace
  • Research Questions
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Limitations
  • Summary and Future Research
  • References
  • Part IV: Interventions in Space
  • 12. When Borders Are the Intervention and Colonialism the Framework: Indigenous Migrants in the United States (Antonieta Mercado)
  • Indigenous Mexican Immigrants in the United States
  • Indigenous Migrants?
  • Epistemic Borders
  • Dehumanization of the Other
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 13. If These Walls Could Speak: Borders and Walls as Communicative Devices (Nour Halabi)
  • Walls and Borders: Projecting Power, Sovereignty, and Protection Within
  • What Lies Beyond the Wall?
  • From the Ancient Walls to Modern Echoes
  • Mouaddamiyya: Protection Within and Violence Without
  • Note
  • References
  • 14. Climate on Campus: Intersectional Interventions in Contemporary Struggles (Mel Stanfill / Khadijah Costley White / Chris Gurrie / Jenny Ungbha Korn / Jason M. Martin)
  • What Does Campus Climate Mean? What Would a Better Campus Climate Look Like?
  • How Can We Serve Different Student Populations in the Classroom? How Can We Be Responsive to Experiences We Don’t Share?
  • Is It Possible to Reclaim Words Like “Free Speech” and “Safe Space” from Their Current Buzzword Definitions? Do We Want To?
  • How Much Personal Risk Are We Willing to Take When Social Justice Comes Up? How Can We Take into Account the Ways Risk Is Unevenly Distributed and Minoritized People Tend to Be the Ones Who Have to Take It?
  • Notes
  • References
  • Part V: Interventions in Practice
  • 15. Art and Activism on Hospitality and Solidarity (Miyase Christensen)
  • Politics in Europe
  • Art as Intervention
  • Final Thoughts
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • References
  • 16. Yarnbombing Interventions: “Let’s Patch It!” (Pamela Pietrucci / Andrea Baldini)
  • Street Art: Dialogue and Subversion
  • Post-Disaster Yarnbombing
  • References
  • 17. Sexual Representation and Visual Communication in the Editorial Design Space (Lynn Comella / Ryan Olbrysh)
  • References
  • 18. A Dossier on Making and Doing (Lisa Henderson / Mél Hogan / Aymar Jean Christian / John Nguyet Erni)
  • Communication Is Making and Doing
  • Lisa Henderson
  • Making, Doing, Thinking, Feeling
  • Mél Hogan
  • TV Development as Critical Media Research
  • Aymar Jean Christian
  • Desiring Participation: Critical Multiculturalism from Below Across East Asia
  • John Nguyet Erni
  • Notes
  • References
  • Contributors
  • Series index

| ix →


Figure 2.1: International Communication Association Affiliation Network—2016

Figure 2.2: Network of country based on division/interest group membership—2013 to 2016

Figure 13.1: Map of Damascus and besieged neighborhood

Figure 16.1: Quilt by Animammersa: “Let’s Patch It!” (Photo by the authors)

Figure 17.1: “Barbie Pole Dancer Image Censored” by Ryan Olbrysh for Las Vegas Weekly

| xi →


Table 2.1: The centrality of joint membership in 1991, 2005, and 2016

Table 2.2: Centrality measures of core countries in ICA co-authorship network

Table 2.3: Divisions and interest groups and concepts with greatest eigenvector centralities in six main clusters

Table 3.1: Citation rates by gender of first author

Table 9.1: Logistic regression on being an Internet user at home, models fitted on noninstitutionalized civilians aged 15 and older

Table 9.2: Logistic regression on being an Internet user at home, models run separately for nondisabled people, disabled people, and people with specific types of disabilities

Table 9.3: Logistic regression on being an Internet user at home, the effect of the type of household Internet service technology

| 1 →

Interventions: Introduction


The theme for the 2017 International Communication Association Annual conference was: Interventions. As described in the call for papers:

“Intervention” points to a range of communication practices that engage with a political event, social phenomena, industrial or socio-cultural practice, in order to alter and disrupt events and the norms and practices that contribute to their occurrence. Interventions prohibit events from proceeding in a “normal” course. Interventions approach or critique practices and phenomenon resulting from tensions or absences occurring in: events, structures (institutional, governmental, media industry), discourses, and socio-cultural and subcultural events. Intervention presents the opportunity to explore boundaries, assumptions, and strategies that appear to be different or irreconcilable, viewing them instead as possibilities for productive engagements.

It was a theme that brought together the two pillars of communication as a discipline: research and practice. Our field is diverse but characterized by research on, theorizing about, and producing a wide range of meaning-making practices. This means that our work intersects with every aspect of human life, and, whether by offering practical solutions and best practices or critique of the status quo, the best of our work intervenes in some way. Moreover, as the conference call indicates, “whether made through action, publication, theory, art practice, media production, or making practices, inventions aid us in better understanding and addressing pressing global issues of the day.” From political upheavals and climate change to battles over migration and digitally empowered social movements, at the particular historical moment it is imperative that we consider what our work might do via interventions.

This volume features work that covers a range of perspectives on “interventions.” We have arranged our chapters into five sections, but there are also useful connections across sections. For example, throughout this volume authors consider the interventions that can be made, not just analyzed, by ← 1 | 2 → communication scholars. Several chapters point to systematic inequalities in our field, from lack of equity in citation practices to the need to be proactive in engaging new communities of scholars. This volume as a whole argues that reflexivity is key to interventionist practice. The politics of our scholarship, from who we cite to our epistemologies to our choice of subject matter, are laid bare in this book. Yet, the authors offer these critiques productively, and point to specific ways the field might change, as well as the practical concerns of scholars who want to engage in activism or nontraditional forms of knowledge production. We invited authors who represented a diversity of divisions, interest groups, career stages, and geographies.

The first set of chapters considers the field of communication as a whole. In it, authors look at trends and outline possible interventions in knowledge production and disciplinary definitions. The next section offers a more specific focus on theory, and the new forms of analysis that are possible when scholars look beyond western-centric ways of knowing, specifically by honoring indigenous ontologies. Section III then addresses potential interventions in policy that could be created by communication scholars. From media regulation and disability to mental health interventions and pro-transgender employment policies, these chapters outline the breadth of communication arenas to which ICA scholarship can speak. Section IV then moves to specific spaces where communication scholarship can intervene. Two of the chapters focus on borders as sites of contestation, while the other considers university classrooms and campuses as a site of political struggle. Our final section goes a bit further and considers making as part of critical interventions. From art-based activism to scholarship beyond the traditional forms of academic production, these chapters allow us to consider how our end products, not just our topics or findings, can intervene in the world.

Interventions in Communication Studies

In our first chapter, “Interventions in Communication: ICA’s Scholarly Innovations that Interrupt, Resituate, Alter Results, and Incite Social Change,” ICA President and 2017 conference program chair Paula Gardner provides the contextual and theoretical background for the theme “Interventions.” As the person who developed the theme, Gardner is particularly interested in exploring what the call to action contained within the title engendered. However, she also maps the legacies of intervention that have come out of communication scholars from a wide range of research foci. Gardner is as attentive to well known and lesser known scholarship, demonstrating in practice the calls for greater interdisciplinarity and awareness of often ← 2 | 3 → ignored voices argued for in other chapters in this volume. Throughout, Gardner demonstrates that communication scholars have a long history of intervening, particularly those who research or come from marginalized positions, but suggests that it is imperative that more scholars take up these methods and approaches and question what we imagine when we imagine “Communication” scholarship.

Moving from the periphery to the center, Chapter 2: “The Structure of the International Communication Association—2016: A Network Analysis” gives an overview of the field via the annual ICA conference and membership. In it, Ke Jiang and George A. Barnett offer a social and semantic network analysis of ICA membership and conference papers to provide a fascinating bird’s-eye view of trends over time. Using data from 1991, 2005, and 2016, they look at changes in ICA divisions and interest groups as well as the relationship among them. They also use titles from 2013 and 2016 conference papers to map trends in concepts, co-authorship, and country of origin. Interestingly, despite many new divisions, interest groups, and an increased representation of scholars from more geographic regions, Jiang and Barnett find that little has changed in the basic structure of ICA. Although the centrality of specific divisions changes over time, there remain three major clusters of ICA members, with Organizational Communication and Public Relations forming a dyad. Moreover, they uncovered three regional centers that tend to produce scholarship about specific topics. This suggests that the interventions called for in Gardner’s chapter, that is, reading across geographies, topics, methodologies, and theories, is a productive intervention in breaking up the clearly ingrained boundaries dividing up ICA.

Turning to an analysis of citations, rather than authorship or membership, Chapter 3 asks: “How Do We Intervene in the Stubborn Persistence of Patriarchy in Communication Scholarship?” To answer that question, Vicki Mayer, Andrea Press, Deb Verhoeven, and Jonathan Sterne look at the systematic inequality of gender imbalances in citation practices. They consider the far-reaching implications of who gets cited, particularly noting the insidiousness of women, people of color, and queer folks being left out of texts that map the field of communication. Their analysis of the first 100 articles in The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (2016) finds that not only do men make up the vast majority of lead authors, they also tend to cite other men much more than women. Women, in contrast, cite other women at twice the rate that men cite them. Thus, building on Gardner’s call for scholars to read across realms of communication research, Jiang and Barnett’s evidence that ICA has remained structurally consistent, we can add Mayer et al.’s call to consider the politics of who is cited and whose work ← 3 | 4 → is left out of our bibliographies. They end with specific calls to action to correct this issue that readers are invited to #makebakedisseminate.

The final chapter in this section, “Toward Africa Continental Academic Body and Africa-Centered Scholarship: The Case for Internal and External Collaboration in Research and Practice,” offers a look at a region rarely represented in communication studies broadly. Building on the prior chapters, Lando and Ayieko share the experiences and results of one particular ICA intervention: ICAfrica. In 2016, ICA held its first-ever regional conference in Kenya, Africa. In addition to bringing non-African scholars into dialogue with African and African diaspora scholars, this conference was the first opportunity to bring many African scholars together with one another. Lando and Ayieko present the results of the post-conference survey and series of interviews, but put their findings in dialogue with the planning process and the broader theoretical aims of making communication as a global field aware of the particular theoretical insights of African communication scholarship. Based on their findings, there are many practical ways scholars within Africa and the broader body of ICA can help promote and bring together an African Communication Association. This, in turn, will enable those scholars in Africa and the African Diaspora to provide unique and valuable insights to our broader bodies of knowledge. This is an intervention that begets interventions that could radically change the field.

Interventions in Theory

Chapter 5, “Intersectional Borders: a challenge to the field of communication and media studies,” comes from Angharad N. Valdivia’s opening plenary remarks (from the same session as Mercado’s remarks in Chapter 12). This chapter approaches borders through the lens of representation. The way borders are represented, described, and imagined affects how they exist in practice and to whose bodies they affect. The class, gender, and racial dimensions of borders are central to her analysis. In particular, Valdivia unpacks the binary thinking that has shaped our very conversations about how and what borders mean. She compares this to the disciplinarity of academia, which assumes a mutual exclusivity of fields. Borders and the study of borders must be understood interdisciplinarily.


XII, 290
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (April)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XII, 290 pp., 5 b/w ill., 7 tables

Biographical notes

Adrienne Shaw (Volume editor) D. Travers Scott (Volume editor)

Adrienne Shaw (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is Assistant Professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production. She is author of Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture (2014). D. Travers Scott (PhD, University of Southern California) is Associate Professor in Clemson University’s Department of Communication Studies. He is author of Pathology and Technology: Killer Apps and Sick Users (Peter Lang, forthcoming).


Title: Interventions
book preview page numper 1
book preview page numper 2
book preview page numper 3
book preview page numper 4
book preview page numper 5
book preview page numper 6
book preview page numper 7
book preview page numper 8
book preview page numper 9
book preview page numper 10
book preview page numper 11
book preview page numper 12
book preview page numper 13
book preview page numper 14
book preview page numper 15
book preview page numper 16
book preview page numper 17
book preview page numper 18
book preview page numper 19
book preview page numper 20
book preview page numper 21
book preview page numper 22
book preview page numper 23
book preview page numper 24
book preview page numper 25
book preview page numper 26
book preview page numper 27
book preview page numper 28
book preview page numper 29
book preview page numper 30
book preview page numper 31
book preview page numper 32
book preview page numper 33
book preview page numper 34
book preview page numper 35
book preview page numper 36
book preview page numper 37
book preview page numper 38
book preview page numper 39
book preview page numper 40
304 pages