Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Feature: Communication Theories in a Multicultural World

For the theory driven in our field, Communication Theories in a Multicultural World (Peter Lang, 2014), edited by Clifford Christians and Kaarle Nordenstreng, aims to loosen the Western grip in this area a bit.  The inspiration for the book came out of the textbook project of the International Association for Mass Communication Research (IAMCR), which goes all the way back to 1982.

Robert White,(in the book's opening overview, locates theory in the public sphere: "This conception of the public sphere prizes a communicative relation of care, concern, and nurture, especially of the less powerful and marginalized...It is a public sphere of multicultural dialogue in which all open themselves to the challenging claims of communication justice posed by different cultures with a readiness to adapt to the justice of these challenges. The contributors here tend to think of the public not as one large communicative arena, but as a multiplicity of public spheres emerging from new movements, the defense of local communities, continually redistributing the power of a feudalistic or imperial past, strong advocacy communication that seeks to make identities explicit, fostering cultural creativity. The conception of the public is characterized by awareness of the continual harmful tendencies toward concentration of communication power, especially in the realm of the material political-economic order, but also an openness to movements to challenge ideologies and encourage dissent in the face of false unity in the name of harmony,"
Table of Contents: Kaarle Nordenstreng: Preface: Toward a Better World – Robert A. White: Keeping the Public Sphere(s) Public – Brenda Dervin/Peter Shields: Talking Communicatively About Mass Communication in Communication Theories: Beyond Multiplicity, Toward Communicating – Denis McQuail: Social Scientific Theory of Communication Encounters Normativity: A Personal Memoir – Janet Wasko: Understanding the Critical Political Economy of the Media – Peter Golding/Karen Williamson: Power, Inequality, and Citizenship: The Enduring Importance of the Political Economy of Communications – Roger Bromley: Cultural Studies: Dialogue, Continuity, and Change – Michael Real/David Black: A Mutually Radicalizing Relationship: Communication Theory and Cultural Studies in the United States – Jesús Martin-Barbero: Thinking Communication in Latin America – Joseph Oládèjo Fáníran: Toward a Theory of African Communication – Keval J. Kumar: Theorizing About Communication in India: Sadharanikaran, Rasa, and Other Traditions in Rhetoric and Aesthetics – Thomas Tufte: Voice, Citizenship, and Civic Action: Challenges to Participatory Communication – Stewart M. Hoover: Media, Culture, and the Imagination of Religion – Pradip N. Thomas: Theorizing Development, Communication, and Social Change – Cees J. Hamelink: Human Rights and Communication: Reflections on a Challenging Relationship – Ruth Teer-Tomaselli/Keyan G. Tomaselli: Struggle, Vatican II, and Development Communication Practice – Paul A. Soukup, SJ: Media Ecology – Theodore L. Glasser/Isabel Awad: Journalism, Multiculturalism, and the Struggle for Solidarity – Clifford G. Christians: Media Ethics in Transnational, Gender Inclusive, and Multicultural Terms.

The book is available at Annenberg Reference HM1211.C6496.

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