An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research

By Michael B. Salwen; Don W. Stacks | Go to book overview
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The Future of Theory and Research in Communication: Human Communication

Gustav W. Friedrich1 University of Oklahoma

In the preface, Don Stacks and Michael Salwen identify their purpose as "to leave the reader with an appreciation of current theory and research in the various areas of communication study"--a task that this book performs admirably. Accomplishing this task at the deepest level requires that we acknowledge and consider two bifurcations that characterize the communication discipline: theory-research and mass-human communication. Because I share their belief that both bifurcations are often problematic for the discipline, I use the next few pages to provide some thoughts on their origin and on potential strategies for mediating their negative impact.

Let me begin by describing goals and approaches to graduate education in communication. Most of my analysis is aimed at the doctoral student, although my comments also fit the master's student thinking of going on for the PhD. I believe that doctoral education in communication should prepare students for (and socialize students into) careers in the communication discipline. For most students at the doctoral level, these careers are in academia. Thus, a major goal of doctoral programs should be to prepare

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1
Gustav W. Friedrich is former president of the Speech Communication Association.

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