Theoretical Traditions

Communication, as an academic field or discipline, is often described as both interdisciplinary and theoretically fluid. It is interdisciplinary because it draws methods, concepts, and even theories from other disciplines to create or transform knowledge, just as it contributes to other disciplines via its unique scholarly contributions. The field has also been described as interdisciplinary because it combines what are arguably several smaller disciplines under one theoretical umbrella. A field of communication or communication studies includes rhetoric, media studies, management, public relations, journalism, performance studies, popular culture studies, and media production, among others. Indeed, at many universities these unique but interrelated areas might be found in their own separate departments or programs. This diversity helps to explain the theoretical fluidity of the field. ...

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