• 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, ...

Computer-Mediated Communication
Computer-mediated communication

Not much characterizes the 21st century more than computer-mediated communication. It's difficult to recall a time, just a few years ago, when we didn't spend up to several hours a day sending e-mails, participating in instant messaging (IM), or surfing the World Wide Web. Today, it's not uncommon to check e-mail before breakfast, IM friends while working on a class assignment, glance at our Facebook and MySpace pages at lunchtime, entertain friends with our most recent discovery on YouTube in the evening, and add a new entry to our blog, logging off just before nodding off at night.

When and how did our computer-mediated communication (CMC) become so pervasive, so suddenly? Did we notice it becoming woven into the fabric of our lives—our ...

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