Handbook of Political Communication Research

Handbook of Political Communication Research

Handbook of Political Communication Research

Handbook of Political Communication Research

Synopsis

The Handbook of Political Communication Research is a benchmark volume, defining the most important and significant thrusts of contemporary research and theory in political communication. Editor Lynda Lee Kaid brings together exemplary scholars to explore the current state of political communication research in each of its various facets. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of political communication scholarship, contributions represent research coming from communication, political science, journalism, and marketing disciplines, among others. The Handbook demonstrates the broad scope of the political communication discipline and emphasizes theoretical overviews and research synthesis, with each chapter providing discussion of the major lines of research, theory, and findings for the area of concern. Chapters are organized into sections covering: *The theoretical background, history, structure, and diversity of political communication; *Messages predominant in the study of political communication, ranging from classical rhetorical modes to political advertising and debates; *News media coverage of politics, political issues, and political institutions; *Public opinion and the audiences of political communication; *European and Asian perspectives on political communication; and *Trends in political communication study, including the Internet, and its role in changing the face of political communication. As a comprehensive and thorough examination of the political communication discipline--the first in over two decades--this Handbook is a "must-have" resource for scholars and researchers in political communication, mass communication, and political science. It will also serve readers in public opinion, political psychology, and related areas.

Excerpt

Although political communication can trace its roots to the earliest classical studies of Aristotle and Plato, modern political communication research is very much an interdisciplinary field of study, drawing on concepts from communication, political science, journalism, sociology, psychology, history, rhetoric, and other fields. In their seminal Handbook of Political Communication, Nimmo and Sanders (1981) traced the development of the field as an academic discipline in the latter half of the 20th century, and other scholars have described the breadth and scope of political communication (Kaid, 1996; Swanson & Nimmo, 1990). Many definitions of political communication have been advanced, but none has gained universal acceptance. Perhaps the best is the simplest: Chaffee's (1975) suggestion that political communication is the “role of communication in the political process” (p. 15). The interdisciplinary nature of the field, as well as its growth and importance in the broader communication field, means that the field badly needs scholarly syntheses of its major research and theoretical findings. Not since Nimmo and Sanders' original handbook in 1981 has there been any volume that attempts to provide syntheses and overviews of the major components of the field. In 1990, Swanson and Nimmo provided a look at some new advances, but their volume made no claim to updating the major topics covered in the Nimmo and Sanders handbook. This volume provides the first opportunity in over two decades to bring together the major thrusts of research and theory in political communication.

This volume's approach is one that stresses theoretical overviews and research synthesis. One label for such pieces would be “bibliographic essays, ” meaning that . . .

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