Prospects for the Future: The Communication Scholar as Citizen

By Trent, Judith S. | Communication Studies, Summer 2000 | Go to article overview

Prospects for the Future: The Communication Scholar as Citizen


Trent, Judith S., Communication Studies


I was pleased with the theme Cindy selected, "CSCA at the Millennium, Prospects for the Future," because it so captures my hope for our discipline at the early dawn of the 21st Century. Although I believe the 20th century, with its advances in technology and transportation, science, art and education, created opportunities for communication at all levels and in all arenas, it is this century that could bring the discipline the greatest opportunity for the institutionalization of our research and scholarship by the expansion of our intellectual boundaries both within the academy and with external constituencies.

Does society need the communication scholar as citizen? You be the judge....

On Jan. 14, 1999 a 24 year-old woman opened fire in an office-building killing one person and wounding another. April 15, 1999: a 71 year old man shot 6 people at the Mormon Family History Library in Salt Lake City, killing two and wounding four. Five days later two teenagers made Columbine the site of the worst school shooting in United States history. On May 20 another teenager, 15 year-old T. J. Solomon wounded six students when he fired 14 shots from the rifle he typically brought to school. One of the suggested motives was that Solomon was angry about his girlfriend breaking up with him. In July, 1999, 44 year-old Mark Barton went on the worst killing spree in Atlanta's history, shooting nine people to death and injuring 12 more. His wife and two children had earlier been found bludgeoned to death in their home. August 5, a 34 year-old man walked into his former place of employment and shot and killed two co-workers. He then went to another of his workplaces and killed a third man. No motive was given. November 2, 1999, a 40 year-old man murdered seven co-workers in Hawaii because he was worried that he was going to be laid off from his job. The next day, November 3rd, a man in Seattle walked into the shipyard at which he was formerly employed and killed two workers and wounded two others. And just last month, three additional incidents captured national attention when, here in Michigan, a six year old boy pulled a gun from his pants and shot a six year old classmate to death. The next day in Pennsylvania a man went into a rage because of a broken door in his apartment building and killed two people and critically wounded three others; and in Georgia a teenage boy was shot to death and two other teenagers were wounded. Other than the last three, all of these events occurred in an 11-month span in 1999. While overall national statistics show violent crime to be decreasing, instances of mass murders seem to be on the rise. In fact, I cannot remember a time when mass murders, especially those based on hate, have happened with such frequency as they did in that 11-month span.

I use this litany of horrors to emphasize my contention that we must link our work as scholars to the most fundamental problems of our communities in new and more forceful ways, and that we are uniquely positioned to do so. The thoughts I wish to share with you today involve the re-discovery of the role social science generally, and several areas of our field specifically, can play in the arena of policy making; and how we may begin to address the "so what" question which our discipline has traditionally faced.

As you know, the theme for the 2000 Seattle convention is, "Communication: The Engaged Discipline," and the 2001 CSCA Conference theme is "I dream of a Community Where ..." The focus of those conventions mirrors the purpose of my remarks this morning--turning "our collective attention outward to a society that so desperately needs what we have to offer."

The Engaged Scholar: Communication and the Social Sciences

My emphasis today really involves an area of scholarship some of us have too frequently ignored, what Ernest Boyer called the scholarship of application. Whether the problem lies in the halls of academia or "out there," now, more than ever, we must address the ways in which knowledge can be linked to contemporary issues and problems. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Prospects for the Future: The Communication Scholar as Citizen
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.