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Exploring the Shifting Contours of Communication


Edited By Patricia Moy and Donald Matheson

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.

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1. Voice and Listening for Communication Research: Lessons of Radicalism and Theoreticism from the 1960s (Guobin Yang)


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1. Voice and Listening for Communication Research: Lessons of Radicalism and Theoreticism from the 1960s


The 50th anniversary of the global protest movements of 1968 offers the most apt opportunity to reflect upon and theorize about voice and communication. In this essay, I first briefly discuss the achievements of voice in the 1960s protest movements, then draw two related lessons from the 1960s—one concerning violence and the other concerning theoreticism or scholasticism, which revolves around scholars’ symbolic struggles over their own voice and power. These struggles ultimately sacrifice the voices of others and of the ordinary people who are the objects of their analysis. Next, I highlight the value of listening through a discussion of David Scott’s (2017) study of Stuart Hall’s ethics of listening and argue that the celebration of voice in communication research must be built on a celebration of the ethics of listening. The plurality of voices can only be possible and meaningful when those who have a voice do not just speak, but can also listen. The essay ends with reflections on the challenges of practicing an ethics of listening under the current conditions of global knowledge production.

Voices of Protest in the Long 1960s

No discussion of the global protest movements of the long 1960s (lasting through the early 1970s) should fail to mention that in sharp contrast to the rampant sense of political helplessness and frustrations...

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