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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, ...

Qualitative, Ethnographic, and Performative Approaches to Communication
Qualitative, ethnographic, and performative approaches to communication

Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, Delta Zeta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Beta Phi. You probably know that these are names of sororities, even if you aren't a member of the Greek world. You may have seen the Greek “letters” adorning sweatshirts on campus. But you may have little understanding of their colors, their secret practices, their risqué songs. Do you know about “bump-and-float groups”?

Researchers of a particular ilk use the terms of the title, qualitative, ethnographic, and performative, to study people and the communication that takes place in various contexts. There are significant areas where the approaches overlap with one another; and there are some differences as well. This chapter uses published studies ...

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