A Handbook of Media and Communication Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies

By Klaus Bruhn Jensen | Go to book overview

2

The humanities in media andcommunication research

Klaus Bruhn Jensen
• a classical agenda: the heritage of philosophy for communication theory
medium theory: the implications of modern media technologies for classic issues of communication and culture
• four theoretical traditions originating in the humanities: rhetoric, hermeneutics, phenomenology, semiotics
• humanistic disciplines feeding into the interdisciplinary field of media studies: art history, literary criticism, linguistics, film studies
• current challenges to the humanities as well as to media and communication research: postmodernism, feminism, cognitivism.

A CLASSICAL AGENDA

Contrary to a widespread notion, the humanities are not direct descendants of classical Greek philosophy (Kristeller 1961:3-23). In their recognizably modern form, the humanities date from the early nineteenth century, when universities were taking shape as institutions of research, as initially associated with the Humboldt tradition in Germany (Fallon 1980; Rudy 1984). The understanding of knowledge as a product of research had been preceded by at least two alternative conceptions of knowledge, either as self-awareness (summed up in the Delphi oracle’s admonition to ‘Know thyself!’) or as traditional learning, administered and passed on by a class of learned people (Kjørup 1996:31). While the latter two concepts are still encountered as subtexts, it is the development of analytical procedures and conceptual frameworks for research which has occupied humanistic scholars during the immediate ‘prehistory’

of media and communication research.

knowledge as a product of research

Much of the agenda for this development, to be sure, was inherited from the classics. They continue to be suggestive, less about what to think than which issues to think about, one example being conceptual problems shared across theories of knowledge and theories of communication. This chapter, accordingly, first retraces part of the classical agenda behind communication studies, before outlining the main traditions from the history of ideas that entered into the modern humanities - rhetoric, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and semiotics. These traditions, in turn, informed the disciplines - from linguistics and literary studies to art history and film studies - which ultimately fed into the field of media and communication. The chapter concludes with an assessment of how recent interdisciplinary challenges - postmodernism, feminism, and cognitivism - may redraw the map also of the media field.

A common denominator for the production of meaning in mediated communication and the production of knowledge in science is

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A Handbook of Media and Communication Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Part I - History 13
  • 2 - The Humanities in Media and Communication Research 15
  • 3 - Media, Culture and Modern Times 40
  • Part II - Systematics 59
  • 4 - The Production of Media Fiction 62
  • 5 - The Production of News 78
  • 6 - The Study of International News 91
  • 7 - Discourses of Fact 98
  • 8 - Mediated Fiction 117
  • 9 - Media Effects 138
  • 10 - Media Reception 156
  • 11 - Contexts, Cultures, and Computers 171
  • 12 - History, Media and Communication 191
  • Part III - Practice 207
  • 13 - The Quantitative Research Process 209
  • 14 - The Qualitative Research Process 235
  • 15 - The Complementarity of Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies in Media and Communication Research 254
  • 16 - The Social Origins and Uses of Media and Communication Research 273
  • References 294
  • Index 326
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