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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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Introduction: THOMAS J. SOCHA, NARISSRA M. PUNYANUNT-CARTER

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THOMAS J. SOCHA

Old Dominion University

NARISSRA M. PUNYANUNT-CARTER

Texas Tech University

June 2, 2020

As we complete work on this volume, we are experiencing an unprecedented global pandemic as well as national racial unrest in the US. Over the past few months (since March 2020), and likely for the foreseeable near future, the Covid-19 virus has radically changed the everyday life of the world’s children. It has moved children out of their preschools, daycare centers, schools, playgrounds, sports fields, and recreational facilities and away from their caregivers, teachers, coaches, and adult leaders and into their homes and to their parents, along with expectations of continuing their development. Caught-off-guard educational systems are racing to speed-deliver make-shift digital classes into children’s homes in hopes of satisfying students’ and parents’ needs for continuing knowledge, information, and formal education. Over-taxed supply chains and delivery systems are struggling to speed-deliver groceries and prized toilette paper into homes, in an effort to keep children and families fed, sanitized, and safe. Taken-off-line broadcast media companies are also streaming archived content to bored children and families needing unprecedented lengths of diversion and escape. At the same time, families are celebrating graduations, birthdays, and more via Zoom, Google Meets, Skype, and other similar digital platforms.

While the global Covid-19 pandemic rages, the US is also coping with the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the protests and riots...

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