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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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Part One: Overview


evolutionary extinction has been precisely its openness to reliance on normative impulses of a compelling kind .” The chapter by McQuail is a notable analysis of the role of the normative in the development of the field of communication . Historically, the contrast of the demands placed on the press and the continued irresponsibility of the press led the Pulitzers and other reformers to look for ways to build social responsibility into the media . The solution that began in America and then spread around the world was to provide professional training for jour- nalists and other communication roles . The goal of pioneers such as Walter Wil- liams, who founded the first journalism school at the University of Missouri, was to build into job-oriented training the ideal of opening and expanding the democratic public sphere (Marzolf, 1991, pp . 55–56) . As universities around the world have introduced professional communication degree programs, the theory- building process has also grown with advanced degrees, academic associations, research programs, and publications . With this has come a progressively clearer idea of the relation of how the media contribute to building and strengthening the public sphere . Ironically and interestingly, the theoretical perspectives that have developed in the global south—Latin America, Africa, and Asia—and in the post–World War II social movements in Europe have returned to the United States to help restore the sense of the public in American media . This, the contributors to this volume, speaking from their own cultural experiences, have pointed out well . The...

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