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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 Two: General Theoretical Conditions


procedures for dialogue across communication theories, not to homogenize them but to enable enrichment and growth . This seems an especially fitting purpose for honoring Robert White who has spent much of his academic life encouraging appreciation for communication theory multiplicities . An important point to make is this . The change we are calling for—moving to a communicative way of communicating about communication theories—is not simply opening the door for more spontaneous sharing . It is rather a call for adding a disciplined communicative procedural layer inside normal scholarly routines . We do indeed now have many modes of sharing scholarship—confer- ences, journals, books, list servers, websites . Many of these call for what is labeled dialogue . The argument we present is that communicative ways of communicating must happen routinely by design if we are to make better sense from our com- munication theory supermarket . Mass Communication Theories: In the Beginning Our focus is mass communication theories . As hard as it is to imagine, there was a time when mass communication theories were infants—before the proliferation of electronic media and before what is now routinely accepted as the digital age in which media are no longer tools (for better or for worse) but rather structures that potentially define life (e .g ., Silverstone, 2007) . While problems of communication have concerned human beings since an- tiquity, it is only recently that communication has become an object of systematic academic study . Propelled by the early spread of newspapers, magazines, film, radio, and television, mass...

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