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Lecture 2

CS203 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Craig Calhoun, Omnipotence, International Communication Association


Department
Communication Studies
Course Code
CS203
Professor
Greigory De Peuter
Lecture
2

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What is communication studies?
How information is transferred and received within society
both interpersonally and within larger societies
Different categories under communications studies
oMedia studies
oAdvertising
oVisual media studies
The field of communication studies
A relatively young field
oFollowing the second world war
oIn the past 10 year communication studies has grown
to expand dramatically
The association of media with communication
The increasing recognition of things that are studied by
communication majors are key dimensions of global change
Rising enrollments in comm programs also tells us something
about the aspirations of students who want to have careers in
media
“There is no more clarity about communications as a
professional field than as a research field” – Craig Calhoun
othe topics that are studied in our discipline are
extraordinarily varied
olooking at the sub areas
ICA: International Communication Association
Very long list of sub-fields that hint at the
range of topics that fall under the
commucation studies umbrella
This diversity of topics is fed from the diversity of
the background of the people who teach in comm
studies
Communication studies has strength in it’s
diversity
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John Durham Peters
Communication studies doesn’t have strict
border
Works across many disciplines
Real world problems do not come neatly
packaged or sorted by disciplined
Possible misperception or misconception of what
communication studies is about
Sonya Livingstone: when faced with the task of
communicating in the field of communication
studies, we shouldn’t be satisfied with listing
subfields
Calhoun quote
Paul Lazarsfeld
oAmerican Sociologist
o1941: published an article where he made a distinction
between 2 styles of research in communication studies
1. Administrative research
usually conducted on behalf of an
established organization
often geared to a specific objective
e.g., boosting sales
aims to help an organization use media for
effectively to achieve their goals
involves quantitative research
e.g., large scale surveys
a good deal of present-day communication
research is administrative research
is often funded by businesses and
government
makes it a bit ironic, that
administrative researchers tend to be
skeptical of researchers who bring
their own perspective into research
2. Critical research
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tackles the big issues
situates communication in a much wider
social context
does not take the status quo for granted,
nor does it take the status quo as benign
looks at how media systems work to
reinforce the existing order of things, and
all the inequalities in the existing order of
things
how do communication structures work with
other social, economic and cultural
structures to order society?
Involves putting values front and center
Examines the interplay of communication
and power
(one of the core themes in 203)
assumption is that power is not equally
distributed
Class based and gender based power
differentials
Confronts wider systems of social
power in order to better understand
how they work
Equally committed to seeing how
institutions in this world might be positively
affecting society
Attentive to social justice
2 traditions of critical research
1. Political economy
investigates the way in which media
and communication policy reinforce or
challenge existing social class
structures
e.g., look at how things like media
ownership, government policies,
influence media content
look at the production side of media
and communication
oe.g., working conditions
2. Cultural studies
highly diverse
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