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Interventions

Communication Research and Practice

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Edited By Adrienne Shaw and D. Travers Scott

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.

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3. How Do We Intervene in the Stubborn Persistence of Patriarchy in Communication Scholarship? (Vicki Mayer / Andrea Press / Deb Verhoeven / Jonathan Sterne)

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3. How Do We Intervene in the Stubborn Persistence of Patriarchy in Communication Scholarship?

VICKI MAYER, ANDREA PRESS, DEB VERHOEVEN, AND JONATHAN STERNE

International Communication Association (ICA) scholars have been on the forefront of hot button issues that cut across all spectra of the communication discipline. From Twitter wars, outrageous Uber, and fake news to populist governance and datafication regimes more broadly, at the 2017 annual conference we heard talks, saw posters, and interacted with digital platforms that grounded the “now” in longer trajectories of inequality, discrimination, and power disparities. These interventions seem more needed than ever to us at this critical juncture. The vicious return of outright expressions of sexism, racism, and nativism has hit us on our home campuses, while more subtle forms of hierarchy have expressed themselves in the guise of precarious labor practices and endless assessment exercises. We are grateful to have ICA as a space where we confront these systemic problems head on.

Now perhaps we can look in the mirror?

For all the formal attention dedicated at ICA 2017 to the discipline’s status and role in the crises of the current conjuncture, the informal conversations we participated in during the week revealed the stubborn persistence of power regimes over our own disciplinary knowledge. These regimes are organized both vertically, in terms of who writes disciplinary knowledge, and horizontally, in terms of who is cited in the canonical summaries of...

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