• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What does it mean to argue that communication is organizing? Or ritual? Or failure? What is at stake in choosing one metaphor or stance over another? What is gained and what is lost - for the field, for the theories themselves, and especially for humans communicating in everyday contexts? In Communication as…: Perspectives on Theory, editors Gregory J. Shepherd, Jeffrey St. John, and Ted Striphas bring together a collection of 27 essays that explores the wide range of theorizing about communication, cutting across all lines of traditional division in the field.

The essays in this text are written by leading scholars in the field of communication theory, with each scholar employing a particular stance or perspective on what communication theory is and how it functions. In essays that are brief, argumentative, and forceful, the scholars propose their perspective as a primary or essential way of viewing communication with decided benefits over other views.

Key Features:

Compares and contrasts different metaphorical views on the theory and practice of communication, challenging students to develop their own argument about communication theory; Promotes an alternative way of examining communication problems - through the engaged interplay of a diversity of positions - encouraging readers to think through contemporary problems and questions in the field; Compels readers to confront competing theoretical positions and their consequences head-on rather than outlining theories in ways that might separate them from their real-world consequences

Communication as… is an excellent textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on communication theory in the fields of Communication, Journalism, Sociology, and Psychology.

Communication as Diffusion
Communication as diffusion
James W.Dearing

Once, I gave a talk to faculty and students at the University of New Mexico. I was discussing research I'd done about entrepreneurial microbial ecologists and engineers, focusing on how they talked about new toxic waste—eating microbes and thermal extraction pumps for steaming pollutants out of the ground without digging up the soil. These technologies and processes hadn't yet spread, or diffused. I labeled this type of study “prediffusion.” I then speculated about the commensurate importance of studying what goes on after diffusion—“postdiffusion.” Bradford “J” Hall, an intercultural communication scholar, raised his hand.

“So is everything diffusion?” he asked.

I laughed nervously, for his was a good question that was difficult to answer. There's a lot to be said for narrowly ...

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