Archive for July 2015

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[ecrea] CfP for special issue of GAZETTE: "The Unbearable Lightness of Communication Research"

Mon Jul 06 15:40:16 GMT 2015

From Jan Servaes:

Call for Statements (max. 2000 words) for Special issue of**

*The International Communication GAZETTE*


*“The Unbearable Lightness of Communication Research”*

/Â /

/Special issue editors/

*Jan Servaes *(City University of Hong Kong)**

*Jim Anderson (*University of Utah, USA)

(9cssc9 /at/ <mailto:(9cssc9 /at/>


What has the communication discipline contributed to the social
sciences? What has been its impact on policy and social change? Starting
with a number of general provocative observations, we plan to zoom in on
the relevance of Communication Research and the need for a rethink of
the place and role of communication research in theory and praxis.

The provocative title for this special issue is the result of some
comparing of notes and brainstorming about the history and relevance of
communication research in the US and Europe between James Anderson
(2014a, b) and Jan Servaes (2012, 2015).


We both reached the rather sobering preliminary conclusion that there
are at least six deficiencies in communication research:Â

(1) We have never developed /our own set of disciplinary problems/ on
which science depends.  Instead we have been derivative.Â

(2) We are following the /dead-end trail of cognitivism/, which makes
little sense in what is a dynamic field.Â

(3) We are still using /methods developed nearly 100 years ago/.  Our
statistical sophistication far outstrips our ability to measure and

(4) We have /failed to return something of value to society/.Â
Instead, we chase technology, culture, and participate in moral panics.Â

(5) We are not paying enough attention to what is going on in other
disciplines, and are therefore /not interdisciplinary/ enough.

(6) We have /no clinical practice/, meaning that we have very low
utility to society at large. Â

And maybe (7), we are far /too content/ with our current state and our
"also participated" trophies.

To assist and join this soul-searching exercise (and extending it to
other parts of the world) we submitted panel proposals to the 2015 ICA
and IAMCR conferences. The ICA proposal got accepted. It featured the
following scholars: Francois Cooren, Mohan Dutta, Gary Gumpert, John
Hartley, C.C. Lee, Robin Mansell, and Dennis Mumby, in addition to Jim
Anderson and Jan Servaes. The IAMCR proposal got rejected by the Chair
of the History section.

We herewith invite *brief comments* (of 1000-2000 words) that address
one or all of the identified ‘deficiencies’, and recommend ways out.

*Deadline for submissions (of _max 2000 words_): 1 November 2015 to
be submitted to (9cssc9 /at/ <mailto:(9cssc9 /at/> with
‘Gazette Special issue’ in the subject line*

For info on Gazette, go to:*Â





Anderson, Jim & Middleton, Michael (2014a) Developments in Empirical and Rhetorical Communication Theory. Paper ICA Conference, Seattle.

Anderson, Jim &  Middleton, Michael (2014b) “Epistemological
Movements in the Field of Communication: An Analysis of Empirical and
Rhetorical/Critical Scholarship” in Gehrke, Pat & Keith, William
(eds.). A Century of Communication Studies. The Unfinished
Conversation. New York: Routledge.

Servaes, Jan (2012) “Homo academicus: Quo vadis?”, Nagy-Zekmi Silvia
& Hollis Karyn (eds.), Global Academe: Engaging Intellectual Discourse,
New York: Palgrave-MacMillan,  85-98

Servaes, Jan (2015). “ECREA, Quo Vadis?”. Communications. The
European Journal of Communication Research. 40(1): 1-20. (DOI

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