• 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, ...


I am an African American, southern, Christian woman, born when the South recognized segregation as the embodiment of its strongest tradition—one that was legally mandated and had to be observed on penalty of ostracism for whites and even death for blacks. What I learned and practiced and lived from the day I was born is my culture. It was second nature to me and as much a part of my Louisiana upbringing as breathing.

I have always understood that culture and communication styles were an outgrowth of one's existence. With segregation looming large in my community as I grew up, everything about me was prescribed by cultural factors: who I was, where I belonged, what I could and could not do, where I could go ...

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