Exploring the Shifting Contours of Communication

by Patricia Moy (Volume editor) Donald Matheson (Volume editor)
©2019 Textbook XVIII, 262 Pages


This edited volume on voices arose from the 2018 International Communication Association conference in Prague, Czech Republic. The contributions examine the conference’s central theme from multiple epistemological approaches, a host of methodologies, and numerous levels of analysis. They reveal how studying voice—or the plurality of voices—illuminates the process by which it is fostered and/or constrained as well as the conditions under which it is expressed and/or stifled. More important, the study of voice sheds light on the process by which it impacts behaviors, defines relationships, influences policies, and shapes the world in which we live. In other words, studies of voice are not relegated to a few domains, but interface with myriad discourses, actors, processes, and outcomes.

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 Figures and Tables
  • The Study of Voice (Patricia Moy / Donald Matheson)
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Voice and Listening for Communication Research: Lessons of Radicalism and Theoreticism from the 1960s (Guobin Yang)
  • 2. Conceptualizing Listening as Voice and Its Affordances for Collaboration Scholarship (Elizabeth S. Parks / Kirsten Foot)
  • 3. Giving Victims a Voice: A Framework for Incorporating Crisis Intervention in Crisis Response (Gina G. Barker)
  • 4. Marginalized Voices of Local Residents and the Symbolic and Material Appropriation of a Street (Petra Jansa)
  • 5. Strategically Shameless Voices? Young Women Speak for Themselves (Elisabeth Eide / Heidi Røsok-Dahl)
  • 6. The Color of Romance: Gatekeeping in the Age of Digital Media (Christine Larson)
  • 7. Journalistic Voice as a Gatekeeping Force (Joy Jenkins / Tim P. Vos)
  • 8. Legitimating Science in Times of Social Change: How Should Science Be Communicated to the Public? (Maren Beaufort / Josef Seethaler)
  • 9. Testing the Normative Assumptions of Deliberative Discussion (Katherine R. Knobloch)
  • 10. Voicing Voters’ Concerns? Examining 2018 Mixed-Gender Senate Candidates’ Issue Agendas (Lindsey Meeks)
  • 11. Image Repair and Judging a Politician’s Racially Insensitive Statements: Does Gender Matter? (María E. Len-Ríos / Hyoyeun Jun / Earnest L. Perry, Jr.)
  • 12. Toxic for Whom? Examining the Targets of Uncivil and Intolerant Discourse in Online Political Talk (Patricia Rossini)
  • 13. His Master’s Voice (Elihu Katz)
  • Contributors
  • Series index

| vii →

Figures and Tables


Figure 4.1. Korso Krymská Festival 2016.

Figure 5.1. Timeline.

Figure 10.1. Democrats’ Issue Priorities by Candidate Gender and Party in Percentages.

Figure 10.2. Republicans’ Issue Priorities by Candidate Gender and Party in Percentages.

Figure 10.3. Other Issue Priorities by Candidate Gender and Party in Percentages.

Figure 11.1. Mean Scores of Perceived-Appropriateness Ratings of Politician’s Image Repair Strategy Responses by Gender.


Table 4.1. Characteristics of Interviewed Festival Producers.

Table 4.2. Characteristics of Interviewed Residents.

Table 4.3. Basic Characteristics of Analyzed Media.

Table 5.1. Articles in Norwegian National and Regional Newspapers (N = 99).

Table 5.2. Items by Genre (N = 99).

Table 5.3. Voices by Category.

Table 8.1. Interest in Science in Austria and in the European Union. ← vii | viii →

Table 8.2. Valence and Relevance of Scientific Activities in Different Scientific Disciplines.

Table 8.3. Operationalization of the Various Models of the Public Sphere in the Eurobarometer Questionnaire.

Table 8.4. Explaining Interest in Science.

Table 9.1. Predictors of Process Satisfaction and Having Learned Enough.

Table 9.2. Predictors of Absolute Value of Opinion Change as Measured in Post-Survey.

Appendix 9.1. Exact Question Wording for All Measures.

Table 10.1. Mixed-Gender Senate Candidates and Election Details.

Table 10.2. Sample Operationalizations of Political Issues in WordStat Dictionary.

Table 10.3. Percent of Issue-Oriented Tweets by Issue by Candidate Gender.

Table 10.4. Percent of Issue-Oriented Tweets by Issue by Candidate Party.

Table 12.1. Distribution of Targets per Platform (%).

Table 12.2. Logistic Regression Models Predicting Targets of Incivility and Intolerance.

| ix →

The Study of Voice


Against a backdrop of evolving technologies, shifting sociocultural, and increasingly complex political dynamics, Voices engages readers with a concept that is inextricably linked with communication. Based on the theme of the 2018 International Communication Association conference in Prague, the Czech Republic, this volume grapples with the concept of voice from multiple epistemological approaches, a host of methodologies, and numerous levels of analysis. Studying voice—or the plurality of voices—can illuminate the process by which it is fostered and/or constrained as well as the conditions under which it is expressed and/or stifled. More important, it can shed light on the process by which voice impacts behaviors, defines relationships, influences policies, and shapes the world in which we live. In other words, studies of voice arise out of multiple domains, interfacing with myriad discourses, actors, processes, and outcomes.

The significance of voice is reflected in contemporary debates around domestic and transnational issues such as climate change, science, and immigration. It also plays a critical role in numerous systems, regardless of whether these systems are bound interpersonally, organizationally, culturally, politically, or socially. Irrespective of the domain of study, the study of voices encourages scholars to address key questions related to:

Theorizing about voice. How have conceptions of voice, either theoretically or in specific contexts, evolved over time and in different cultures? How do we theorize the combining of voices? How do we theoretically juxtapose voice against listening or thinking? How is voice implicated in claims to distinctive or authentic identity?

The creation and representation of voice. Among different groups of individuals, ranging from young adults to underrepresented groups to political elites, how is voice fostered and what is the process by which ← ix | x → private voices become public? Under what conditions are advocacy efforts successful or justifiable as forms of speaking on behalf of others? From dyadic contexts to public diplomacy, who speaks for whom?

The expression of voice. When is voice activated and how is it communicated? How do individual or group voices organize socially available discourses? What individual, social, organizational, economic or legal considerations influence the expression of voice? How have media technologies amplified the expression of personal voices in public fora?

The impact of voice. What communication strategies are effective in simultaneously bolstering voice and resolving conflict? How can the coexistence of voices be leveraged to introduce synergy and collaboration in problem-solving? How successful are different voices and messages in gaining traction via traditional and/or digital media? What is the process by which voices become influential, empower or constrain individuals and groups, and shape social processes?

Against this tapestry, this edited volume, rich in theory and empirics, demands that we pay attention to communication as it is embodied, that is, performed by actual people and groups of people in specific contexts. But voice is also part and parcel of media, organizations, and institutions, as our contributors illustrate.

The opening chapter to this volume, by Guobin Yang, is based on his opening plenary presentation in Prague, in which he traced the evolution of voice to the social protests of the 1960s. Celebrating the voices embodied in global protests during that decade, his essay highlights the role that theory played—namely, how the imperative to prove one’s ideological purity fostered intolerance toward different perspectives. As Yang notes, these theoretical and perspectival schisms have manifested themselves in our discipline, and not always for the better. Contending that the expression of voice needs to coexist alongside an ethics of listening, Yang calls for the sustained development of critical humanistic approaches to social science research in communication.

The other bookend to this volume, by Elihu Katz, also focuses on voice in our discipline, but at a more gestalt level. In his wittily titled essay, “His Master’s Voice,” which provided the basis of the conference’s closing plenary session, Katz discusses the legacy of his mentor and colleague, Paul Lazarsfeld, in a discipline that has witnessed a profound transformation of networks and the nature of voice. Showing how the empirical tools of three-quarters of a century ago have given way to techniques that now allow for the study of more than two steps in the flow of communication, Katz knits together ← x | xi → Lazarsfeld’s theorizing about voice, the concept of voice as articulated by Gabriel Tarde, and how new voices enabled by digital media might be studied.

Such historical approaches to voice are well-complemented by their recognition of the critical role of listening. Indeed, Yang invokes the theorizing of Stuart Hall, and Katz distinguishes between the influential and the influencee. Other contributors to this volume foreground listening more explicitly, as Elizabeth Parks and Kirsten Foot do in their chapter. Surveying the small but growing literature on dialogic practices in collaboration processes, Parks and Foot propose a more robust conceptualization of listening as a type of constitutive voice that is dialogic and hospitable. Using two case studies related to anti-human-trafficking efforts, the authors show that listening, construed as a discursive act and not as an absence of discourse, provides great potential for successful collaborations.

Gina Barker draws upon crisis communication scholarship and crisis intervention work to propose a framework for how organizations can engage effectively and ethically with victims in crises. According to Barker, while victims are often given priority in crises, communication efforts tend to prioritize media outlets as the primary public. Her recommendations for practitioners include mapping the crisis itself and identifying victims, particularly cautioning against making assumptions about what it means to be a victim. Barker notes the importance, both for strategic and therapeutic reasons, of allowing victims’ voices to be heard over the voice produced through the organization’s planned messaging in the immediate aftermath. Above all, she emphasizes the imperative to weave together organizational, group, and individual voices during crises, including accommodating the proliferation of digital media through which individuals can now make themselves heard.

Petra Jansa’s chapter presents a case study on the exclusion of voices, describing how a well-intentioned community festival in Prague redefined a neighborhood in ways that marginalized the local community. In close ethnographic detail, Jansa shows how the symbolic appeal to community and neighborhood can become detached from residents’ reality. Within the powerful overlapping narratives of community, renewal, and entrepreneurship, the voices of residents become either homogenized and subsumed or else labelled as complainants and marginalized. This symbolic colonization became a material one, as parking, walking down the street, or even sleep became difficult for residents. Jansa reinserts their voices here. As residents share stories about how they do not fit into the idealization of pedestrianized, tree-lined streets full of interesting shops, the consequences of disconnected narratives of urban renewal are made apparent. ← xi | xii →


XVIII, 262
ISBN (Softcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2019 (May)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Vienna, Oxford, Wien, 2019. XVIII, 262 pp., 6 b/w ill., 19 tbl.

Biographical notes

Patricia Moy (Volume editor) Donald Matheson (Volume editor)

Patricia Moy (Ph.D., Wisconsin) is the Christy Cressey Professor of Communication and Associate Vice Provost of Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Washington. Editor of Public Opinion Quarterly, she is the president and an elected fellow of the International Communication Association. Donald Matheson (Ph.D., Strathclyde) is head of the Department of Media and Communication and co-director of the Arts Digital Lab at the University of Canterbury. He is a former president of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association. He is joint editor of Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics.


Title: Voices
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