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Does communication studies have an identity? Setting the bases for contemporary research

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This article is a reflection on the identity of communication research, motivated by what we perceive as an important need for consolidating our field of study. It therefore takes the form of a self-inquiry into the nature of communication research. Whereas the field of communication has expanded and consolidated, its identity continues to be problematic. At this moment, communication studies is defined as a field rather than as a science; we would argue, however, that we have enough features to be something more than a field. This is the central argument of this article: communication research is more than a field but less than a science. Why are we more than a field? Why aren't we a real science? What exactly are the meanings of science and field? We will first consider the importance of the identity issue; second, we will list the main features of communication research in order to justify our identity as something other than a field. Finally, we will propose a multidisciplinary theoretical base for performing communication research in our contemporary period.

Keywords: cognition; communication studies; culture; epistemology; ontology; paradigm

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Colorado at Boulder.

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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