Applied Communication in the 21st Century

Applied Communication in the 21st Century

Applied Communication in the 21st Century

Applied Communication in the 21st Century

Synopsis

The future of the field of communication lies in the ability to produce a socially relevant scholarship, without which the field is unlikely to attract the best students, command significant societal resources, or make its greatest contributions to the world's store of knowledge. This volume presents a report of the first discipline-wide, nationally sponsored communication research conference in 20 years--the Tampa Conference on Applied Communication. As the next millennium approaches, the communication field will be challenged to take its place among the disciplines whose research makes a substantial contribution to the well-being of society. How the communication field should respond to that challenge was the focus of the conference and this volume. Crossing all disciplinary boundaries, Applied Communication in the 21st Century addresses issues of concern to all scholars in the communication field, regardless of their various subareas, and includes the recommendation of the conferees concerning issues and responsibilities of the field, research priorities, and graduate education.

Excerpt

Kenneth N. Cissna University of South Florida

Communication as a field had its genesis in concerns for practice, and our public speaking pedagogy remains our greatest practical contribution. The future of our field, however, lies in our ability to produce a socially relevant scholarship, without which communication is unlikely to attract the best students, command significant societal resources, or make its greatest contributions to the world's store of knowledge.

In 1968, the field of communication held its first discipline-wide national research conference, the New Orleans Conference on Research and Instructional Development (Kibler & Barker, 1969). This conference had enormous impact in moving the field to accept behavioral science and in setting an agenda for behavioral scholarship. Less noticed was that the conference also addressed issues related to social relevance and engagement, and eight of the recommendations of the conference dealt with this theme. Among other things, the conference participants encouraged us to conduct research concerning the communication dimensions of social problems, apply our research findings to the solution of individual and social problems, and communicate our knowledge and research findings to the general public. Although those recommendations were among the least realized of that important conference, in the years that followed the field did take important steps toward applied and socially relevant scholarship.

Following the New Orleans conference and another nearly simultaneous Speech Communication Association (SCA) conference on social engagement, Mark Hickson III founded the Journal of Applied Communications Research . . .

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