• Summary
  • Overview
  • Key Readings

The nature of communication has been argued about since the beginning of Western culture and the debate still rages in academic circles as to what actually constitutes communication. Currently, many definitions of communication are used to conceptualize the processes by which people navigate and assign meaning. Communication is also understood as the exchanging of understanding. This set of four volumes provides a range of essays both canonical in, and at the cutting edge of, communication theory. The essays included represent communication theory in a fashion cognizant with the breadth of communication theories from humanities as well as from social sciences that takes place in the universe. The collection is thematic, dealing with intra-individual, interpersonal, organization (group-level) and macroscopic (society-level) approaches across the volumes.

Editor's Introduction

Sixty years ago, academics who dealt with topics in the field of communication research felt obliged to explain and introduce the field because it was unfamiliar to most of their colleagues and readers. Still 20 years later, Wilbur Schramm observed that communication was not a proper discipline such as psychology or mathematics, but “an academic crossroad where many have passed, but few have tarried” (Schramm, 1963, p.2). Since then, the field has reached that stage where nobody in academic settings would ever call into question whether communication science should be considered a proper discipline. The field has grown rapidly. For proof of its growth and fertility, one might refer not only to the number of existing departments, journals, and communication associations, but also ...

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