An Invitation to Communication Theory
short introduction to communication theory in essay form, Invitation will occupy a unique place in the field. The approach to communication theory introduced by Craig (1999) has attracted considerable attention and is now featured in leading textbooks as an overview perspective of the field. The proposed book will provide an expanded and revised treatment of the essential argument in Craig (1999) along with substantial new material on the historical and cultural roots of communication theory, current controversies on communication in society, and trends in communication theory. An original essay on communication theory written for students and general readers as well as professional scholars, this book will have the potential for a relatively large readership and possibly a long “shelf life” as a key text in the field.The approach emphasizes the continuity and reflexive interplay between communication theory (theoretical metadiscourse) and ordinary cultural discourses on communication (practical metadiscourse). The underlying philosophical stance is a version of pragmatism influenced by hermeneutics and critical theory. Communication is understood to be first of all a category of cultural practice that has emerged historically and has become increasingly important in contemporary society. Theoretical discourses on communication, having developed within that historical-cultural process, constitute an array of alternative vocabularies and principles in terms of which to formulate communication problems for practical purposes. The unique contribution of this book will be to integrate the ethnography, intellectual history, and (meta)theory of communication within an argument for the practical relevance of communication theory. This book is distinctive in its approach, which is wholly centered in communication rather than derivative from other fields. As a result it will have appeal within the communication field, but it should also be a good resource for related fields, such as psychology and management, which regularly go to other fields for an infusion of new ideas. At a pithy 150 pages, Invitation will be a staple and potentially a classic in the field of communication studies.