An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research

By Michael B. Salwen; Don W. Stacks | Go to book overview

33
Communication Theory and Research: The Quest for Increased Credibility in the Social Sciences

Tony Atwater1 University of Toledo

From its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to the dawn of the 21st century, the formal study of communication has matured as a social science. However, there is much progress that needs to be made in establishing the field's empirical credibility among its peers in such academic fields as sociology, anthropology, and political science. Only in recent decades have recognized research programs sponsored by the Ford and Fulbright foundations recognized the academic legitimacy of communication. Part of the field's lack of empirical credibility and standing as a social science is related to its youth compared to older, more established disciplines. However, youth does not tell the whole story in the field's continuing quest for credibility.


CHALLENGES ON THE ROAD TO PEDAGOGICAL CREDIBILITY

Earlier chapters in this volume have addressed the value of integrating theoretical propositions with empirical research methods. Another area in which additional

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1
Tony Atwater is past president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

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