ERIC Number: ED383005
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov-20
Reference Count: N/A
Affirming Commonalities--Curriculum Directions To Support the Study of All Contexts of Communication.
McCall, Jeffrey M.
A number of reasons could no doubt be found for why the study of communication has been so fragmented over the years. R. Blanchard and W. Christ have indicated that when mass communication courses were first developed, those courses were generally located in departments "offering vocationally based instruction." Speech communication and mass media have remained split along these lines. However, it makes sense that the two should come together in one department. Theoretically, they are very similar areas of study, as both are concerned with the same basic concepts: channels, structure, symbols, feedback, credibility, listening, control mechanisms, and ethics. Practically, they both fare better in the university environment today. Turf wars between the various subdisciplines of communication expose the discipline as a whole to charges of not fitting in with other traditional liberal arts studies. As mass media and speech communication departments have been the target of massive cuts recently, a consolidation could benefit both. But when a consolidation occurs, it is essential that the same courses now offered are not simply relisted under a new department heading. While some courses would remain unchanged, both an introductory and a capstone course should bring students studying the various branches of the communication field together. The time for reform is now; the key to success is a clear statement of defense defining communication study as necessary to the university and society as a whole. (Contains 17 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Commonality; Communication Context
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (80th, New Orleans, LA, November 19-22, 1994).