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Challenging Communication Research


Edited By Leah A. Lievrouw

Communication scholarship has not enjoyed the same kind of theoretical cohesion or ontological security as some disciplines. The field’s intellectual «roving eye» and resistance to establishing a single core body of knowledge has inspired serial rounds of soul-searching and existential doubt among communication scholars, on one hand, and celebration and intellectual adventurism, on the other. The theme of the 2013 ICA annual conference thus raised an interesting question: For a field that is perpetually in flux and «decentered», what exactly is, or should be, challenged? How, and by whom?
The chapters in this collection, chosen from among the top papers presented in London, suggest that the challenges themselves are constantly being reinvented, broken down and reorganized. The communication discipline undergoes continuous change rather than following an orderly, stepwise path toward the neat, complete accumulation of knowledge. The chapters challenge familiar approaches, notions or assumptions in communication research and scholarship and reflect on the field’s multifaceted and increasingly open character in an era of shifting social relations, formations and technologies.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

International Communication Association. Annual Conference (63rd: 2013: London, England) Challenging communication research / edited by Leah A. Lievrouw. pages cm. — (ICA annual conference theme book series; vol. 1) Selected papers presented at the 63rd annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) held June 2013 in London. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Communication—Research—Congresses. 2. Communication—Research—Methodology—Congresses. I. Lievrouw, Leah A., editor of compilation. II. International Communication Association. III. Title. P91.3.I53 302.2’0721—dc23 2013042395 ISBN 978-1-4331-2536-2 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2535-5 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1273-7 (e-book) ISSN 2330-4529

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at

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