• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The discipline of communication has grown in popularity from the time professors of journalism and speech decided, in the mid-1960s, that the term “communication” was an excellent general descriptor for the theory and research that each group aspired to create.  Over time, the two groups grew closer and recognized significant overlap in their theoretical and research interests, but there were also differences in their traditions that kept them apart.  While both groups agreed that communication is a practical discipline, journalism professors focused a great deal of their attention on the education of media professionals.  Speech professors, on the other hand, often were more oriented to the liberal arts and valued the fact that communication could be approached from a variety of traditions, including the arts, ...

Social Support
Social support

If you have a situation that's upsetting you, you might have a friend who listens attentively and makes you feel better by conveying understanding and sympathy. If you have a problem and can't figure out how to solve it, a coworker might offer some advice that enables you to improve the situation. And if your car has broken down and you need help getting places until it's fixed, a family member might offer to drive you around. Communication scholars would describe the friends, coworkers, and family members in these scenarios as providing you with social support, where this term refers to assistance provided by family, friends, or acquaintances rather than professionals (e.g., counselors or therapists). Most of us not only appreciate but ...

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