Lecture 5 – History of Communications
Research & Citations
History of Communications Research
• Why study the history of communication research?
o Vast and diverse (places we haven’t explored yet)
• History: the story that we tell about something; recounting of the past; how things
happened and why; who was involved; when did something start?; when did it end?; etc.
o A form of inquiry to study the past to appreciate the present and predict(?) the
o Work that plays with time
• Communication: distribution of messages; effects on society; media technologies; media
forms (ex: blog, situational comedy, social networks, etc.); institutions; concepts; etc.
o over time (history)
• Research: Searching; investigating; generating knowledge;
o Work with theoretical assumptions
o Generate conclusions
o Disseminate results
• History of Communication Research: Study of individuals, institutions, and ideas that
have been involved in the study of how people communicate with each other.
o A history of study. A history of intellectuals. A history of ideas.
o Why do we study what we study the way we study it?
o Why do we teach what we teach the way we teach it?
o Answers must have to do with the ways which we have studied communication in
the past with the people who studied it, the places in which it was studied, etc.
o We hope that past communications theorists/prominent figures wrote down their
findings and ideas and that we can extrapolate information either from that or
from them in-person if they are still alive.
o Collect data by:
▪ Going back and reading published work in books and journals to track
when research on affect became popular (context)
• US univ