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Communication Theories in a Multicultural World


Edited By Clifford G. Christians and Kaarle Nordenstreng

This volume is an up-to-date account of communication theories from around the world.
Authored by a group of eminent scholars, each chapter is a history and state-of-the-art description of the major issues in international communication theory.
While the book draws on an understanding of communication theory as a product of its socio-political and cultural context, and the challenges posed by that context, it also highlights each author’s lifetime effort to critique the existing trends in communication theory and bring out the very best in each multicultural context.


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Preface: Toward a Better World


| Nordenstreng | xi By the late 1980s there was a growing recognition of the need for more sys- tematic interregional contact and cooperation—in communication education in general and textbook promotion in particular . To this effect the IAMCR prepared in 1988 an interregional project for the funding from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) . Those involved in the deliberations about the new project were relevant regional organizations in Africa (ACCE), Asia (AMIC), and Latin America (FELAFACS), as well as two European-based world associations: WACC and the International Organization of Journalists (IOJ) . Thus, the project proceeded to Phase II as a joint venture between several non-governmental organizations and institutions, with the IAMCR playing the role of catalyst and coordinator . Three distinguished professors were appointed by the IAMCR to serve as the project’s monitoring committee: Josiane Jouët (Paris), Manuel Parés i Maicas (Barcelona), and Robert White (Rome) . The motivation and objectives of the textbook project were summarized in its final report as follows: While it was common knowledge that journalism and mass communication were fields with American domination, we wanted to know in detail how this domination mani- fested itself in different regions and across various topics . In other words, the disease was known, but there was a need for a proper diagnosis in order to identify the effective treatment . Thus from the beginning our textbook study was an action-orientated project to bring about change . Specifically, we wanted to identify where and how to promote more socio-econom- ically...

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