Robert L. Stevenson University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
As an area of study, international communication has no identifiable substance, body of theory, or specific research methods, only geography ( Stevenson, 1992). This area of communication, perhaps more than others, is diverse and unorganized. Besides embracing anything "foreign," it includes all of the combinations of cross, inter, and comparative linked to cultural, national, and even global that surface in books, journal articles, and conference papers. The result is a set of confusing, ill-defined terms that do little to organize the area or guide its development. Is there anything that distinguishes international communication--other than geography?
A simple, three-dimensional definitional matrix serves a good starting point for international communication. Some years ago, William Paisley ( 1984) proposed a two-dimensional matrix locating communication as a field of study within the behavioral sciences. He defined communication as one of the elementary behavior-defined disciplines such as cybernetics and systems analysis that served as elements of more general fields of study such as education (learning), economics (value), and political