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Gregory Bateson, Niklas Luhmann, and Ecological Communication

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Cognizant of the evolving academic discipline of ecological communication (EC), I offer this essay as a follow-up to my previous publication—a critical exegesis of Niklas Luhmann's Ecological Communication (1989)—in this journal. Hoping to throw more light on Luhmann's formulations, I introduce and interpret those writings of Gregory Bateson that apparently influenced the former—and/or attempted to link ecology with communication. While I do not necessarily advocate either of these two thinkers' overall philosophical frameworks, I believe that they deserve attention—at the least insofar as they provide a measure of contrast to the contemporary academic discourse of EC (which remains shallow, intellectually parochial, and nonrigorous). That aside, many specific ideas developed by these two thinkers will interest a wide range of constituencies—especially those devoted to the study of information, communication, and ecology.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10714420802068391

Affiliations: Department of Communications & Multimedia Design, American University of Nigeria,

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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