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Communication Begins with Children

A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook


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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Coda: The Urgent Need for Global, Inclusive, and Comprehensive Lifespan Communication: THOMAS J. SOCHA, NARISSRA MARIA PUNYANUNT-CARTER


The Urgent Need for Global, Inclusive and Comprehensive Lifespan Communication


Old Dominion University


Texas Tech University

Recent fervor in the field of communication brings to the forefront the pressing need for the field to become far more inclusive than in its past. All communicators should be able to read the communication research literature, read communication textbooks, as well as take communication classes, and be able to see themselves in its pages and in its lessons. In short, no communicator should ever be left out. This volume joins and supports the scholars of transformation and inclusion with the unambiguous message that all children and indeed communicators of all ages must be included in communication.

The National Communication Association (NCA) is currently organized into 49 divisions, 7 sections, and 6 caucuses (National Communication Association, 2020a). Of its 49 divisions, there are no divisions that specifically focus on children or adolescents and only one section that does (Elementary and Secondary Education Section). According to this NCA section’s website:

The Elementary and Secondary Section welcomes membership from all academic levels. We seek to be at the forefront of curricular change and development in the areas of speaking, listening, and media literacy on the elementary and secondary levels. … To us, it is important that elementary and secondary students receive the best preparation possible in speaking, listening, and media literacy. While we strongly prefer...

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