This monograph examines the past, present, and potential relationship between American pragmatism and communication research. The contributors provide a bridge between communication studies and philosophy, subjects often developed somewhat in isolation from each other.
Addressing topics, such as qualitative and quantitative research, ethics, media research, and feminist studies, the chapters in this volume:
*discuss how a pragmatic, Darwinian approach to inquiry has guided and might further guide communication research;
*advocate a functional view of communication, based on Dewey's mature notion of transaction;
*articulate a pragmatist's aesthetics and connect it to Deweyan democracy;
*discuss the similarities and differences between Dewey's notion of inquiry and the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer;
*apply accommodation theory, linked to symbolic interactionism and more generally to the social behaviorism of George H. Mead and his followers, to media research;
*interpret media-effects evidence in light of pragmatist ideas about inquiry; and
*argue that pragmatism theorizes about despair and life's sense of the tragic.
This book is written to be readily accessible to students and professional academics within and outside the field of communication studies without extensive training in specialized areas of communication study.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. P. Simonson, Varieties of Pragmatism and Communication: Visions and Revisions From Peirce to Peters. V.E. Cronen, J. Chetro-Szivos, Pragmatism as a Way of Inquiring With Special Reference to a Theory of Communication and the General Form of Pragmatic Social Theory. W. Woodward, Transactional Philosophy and Communication Studies. W.J. Leonhirth, William James and the Uncertain Universe. J. Jensen, Art, the Public, and Deweyan Cultural Criticism. R.T. Craig, Dewey and Gadamer on Practical Reflection: Toward a Methodology for the Practical Disciplines. J.S. Horne, Truth or Consequences: Pragmatism, Relativism, and Ethics. T. Meyer, Pragmatism and Mediated Communication. D.K. Perry, Shattering the Mirror: Linking Media-Effects Research and American Pragmatism. S. Shuler, M. Tate, Intersections of Feminism and Pragmatism: Possibilities for Communication Theory and Research. T.L. Jacobson, Habermas, Dewey, and Pragmatism. G.J. Shepherd, Pragmatism and Tragedy, Communication and Hope: A Summary Story.
"...the collection distinguishes itself in taking a more reflexive and pluralistic approach to the issue....the collection provides a number of interesting essays, an excellent bibliographic resource, and the platform for a more extended and engaged consideration of pragmatism in communication....American Pragmatism and Communication Research provides a good complement to an improving conversation on pragmatism's possibilities for communication."
—Journal of Communication