Practicing Communication Ethics : Development, Discernment, and Decision Making book cover
3rd Edition

Practicing Communication Ethics
Development, Discernment, and Decision Making

  • Available for pre-order on April 11, 2023. Item will ship after May 2, 2023
ISBN 9781032288987
May 2, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
314 Pages

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USD $84.95

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Book Description

This textbook presents a theoretical framework for developing a personal standard of ethics that can be applied in everyday communication situations. This third edition focuses on how the reader’s communication matters ethically in cocreating their relationships, family, workgroups, and communities.

Through an examination of ethical values including truth, justice, freedom, care, integrity, and honor, the reader can determine which values they are ethically committed to upholding. Blending communication theory, ethics as practical philosophy, and moral psychology, the text presents the practice of communication ethics as part of the lifelong process of personal development and fosters the ability in its readers to approach communication decision making through an ethical lens.

This edition features new and expanded treatment of moral injury and trauma, digital communication, partisan political division, and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Practicing Communication Ethics is a core textbook for communication ethics and media ethics courses.

Online resources for instructors include an instructor’s manual, sample assignments, and PowerPoint slides. They are available at

Table of Contents

Preface Part I: Developing a Practice of Communication Ethics 1. The Centrality of Ethics in Human Communication 2. Developing a Personal Ethical Standard for Human Communication 3. Ethical Reasoning about Human Communication 4. Six Ethical Values of Human Communication 5. Applying Values and Principles in Ethical Reasoning Part II: Applying Ethical Theories to Human Communication 6. Traditional Approaches to Ethical Theory 7. Contemporary Alternatives to Modernist Ethical Theories Part III: Four Contexts of Ethical Communication Practice 8. Communication Ethics and Digital Communication 9. Communication Ethics and Community 10. Communication Ethics and Intercultural Communication 11. Your Practice of Communication Ethics

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Paula S. Tompkins is Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University, USA.


"Tompkins demonstrates deep understanding of communication ethics and moral psychology in Practicing Communication Ethics: Development, Discernment, and Decision-Making. The text provides students with invaluable opportunities to understand the value of mindfulness and moral emotions when discerning whether ethical issues exist and when making moral choices in, through, and about communication." — Tammy Swenson Lepper, Winona State University, USA.

Praise for the Second Edition:

"This book offers a rich examination of its topic’s application to the teaching and research agendas of interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, organization communication, and rhetorical theory and criticism. Tompkins emphasizes that the practice of communication ethics is important for cultivating the moral ecology of communal life." — Michael J. Hyde, Wake Forest University, USA.