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Communication Theories in a Multicultural World


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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10 Theorizing About Communication in India: Sadharanikaran, Rasa, and Other Traditions in Rhetoric and Aesthetics



During the mid-1980s the Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture (CSCC), London, was a popular meeting place for doctoral students from Asia and Africa. The Centre was known to have the finest library in Britain on international and development communication. But it was not so much the library that drew doctoral students to the CSCC but rather the opportunity to meet and talk to Robert (Bob) White, the research director and also editor of the Centre’s publication Communication Research Trends. White (1976) had done pioneering work in grassroots, participatory development communication [communicacion popular], particularly in the cultural context of Honduras, and actively promoted alternative and indigenous traditions in theory and research. It was this radical cultural perspective, I believe, that proved to be an inspiration for many scholars from the developing world, and paved the way for later developments in Asian and African theories of communication. My own teaching and research on alternative paradigms has been influenced by his prolific scholarship in Latin American (and more recently, African) perspectives in communication. My quest for Asian and Indian theories of communication is perhaps traceable to that influence.*

For three decades now, this quest has been articulated by a host of communication scholars led by Wimal Dissanayake (1987, 1988, 2006, 2009, 2011), Syed Farid Alatas (2006, 2011), and Yoshitaka Miike (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011), ← 160 | 161 → the major influences at work being Edward Said’s work on Orientalism (1979), Molefi Kute Asunte’s on Afrocentrism (1988, 2011), and...

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