ERIC Number: ED247604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Critical Reflection on Comparative Communication Research Methods.
Kang, Myung Koo
This paper examines the unresolved epistemological and theoretical problems in comparative communication research. The first section examines what "comparative" means by reviewing various fields in the social sciences. The second section provides an overview of epistemic assumptions of comparative communication research and suggests that in the conflict between ideographic and nomothetic positions, researchers need to avoid methodological dogma and to be open to pluralism. It also presents arguments for the formulation of context-bound concepts being included in the domain of scientific discourse. Finally, it discusses the implication that a qualitative and quantitative dichotomy is not useful, and states that comparative communication researchers need to be conscious of the problem of context-boundness. The third section examines problems of comparability at the various stages of the research process: formulation of a comparable concept, selection of societies and research sites, and the development of equivalent measurement. Among the conclusions drawn in this section are: (1) that most research is conducted following the positivistic logic of science, and (2) that before investigating the "shade of meaning" embedded in social context, theoretical examination must take place in order to compare different social units. (CRH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).