ERIC Number: EJ856935
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Reference Count: 52
What a Difference More Difference-Making Communication Scholarship Might Make: Making a Difference from and through Communication Research
Frey, Lawrence R.
Journal of Applied Communication Research, v37 n2 p205-214 May 2009
Almost 40 years ago, the notion that communication is central to creating and sustaining (and ending) high-quality interpersonal relationships seemed to be a radical idea, but today, who does not know this to be the case or how important communication is for making high-quality decisions in groups/teams, fostering productive and satisfying work environments, persuading people to engage in healthy behaviors or to vote for political candidates, and serving as the foundational cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution? Communication scholarship may not be directly responsible for the common understanding of the centrality of communication for these and the many other examples that could be offered. However, there can be little doubt that the academic, disciplinary study of communication (starting with the formation of the National Association of Academic Teachers of Public Speaking in 1914, now the National Communication Association; NCA) contributed significantly to the explosion of "communication consciousness" that occurred during the 20th century. Indeed, given the popular perception of the importance of communication, as well as the "turn to discourse" by scholars from virtually every academic discipline, from the humanities to the social sciences to the natural sciences, the 20th century (at least the second half) might well be called the "communication century." The author, thus, starts from the premise that communication scholarship has made a difference at individual, relational, and collective levels. Assessing/measuring the difference-making effects of that scholarship, however, seems an impossible task. Consequently, the author focuses on the means by which communication research has made and will continue to make a difference, and how such research could make an even larger difference. To address those issues, he first identifies traditional ways in which communication scholarship is translated for broader publics and the need for additional translational efforts. He then proposes that such efforts need to be complemented by more communication scholarship that makes a difference not just "from" but "through" research.
Descriptors: Communication Research, Intellectual Disciplines, Social Sciences, Scholarship, Theory Practice Relationship, Information Dissemination, Politics of Education, Evidence, Outcomes of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A