State of the Art Review Paper 1 State of the Art Review Paper Drury University Brett Henderson
State of the Art Review Paper 2 Communication discipline has been ever changing over the years, and it’s not going to stop any time soon. Georgette Wang in an article written in 2011 says, “Unlike most disciplines, communication studies have since their heyday been kidnapped by the development of media technologies. To discuss the centrality of communication discipline in this era of dazzling technological change is therefore more like attempting to sketch a train as it shoots by.” (pg. 1) The paradigm that everyone was accustomed to is no longer anywhere to be found with the recent surge of mass communication. We need to start the process of a paradigm shift because of inadequacies of the existing dominant paradigm in guiding communication studies. The technological change has been taking place for two decades, but it has just now caught up with the communication discipline. Along with the changes in technology, another change in discipline regarding communication paradigm would be the trend of globalization. According to research done by Wang, newspaper circulation recorded phenomenal growth in Africa, Asia, and Latin America while significant decline in North America and Europe. Wang talks about communication studies and how they were founded in the west and then introduced to the rest of the world. With the studies showing the increase in newspaper circulation in certain parts of the world, and the decrease in the west, the death of the newspaper is almost certain. With the rest of the world following what North America and Europe do they will soon follow them in to the technological world as well. Even though the rest of the world hasn’t gone completely to broadband subscription, they have expanded the mobile cellular subscriptions at an incredible
State of the Art Review Paper 3 rate. According to the research done by Wang, cellular subscriptions are up to 73% of the world at the end of 2010 compared to 53 percent at the end of 2005. With the increase growth in mobile news and the outdated newspaper in North America and Europe the paradigm shift is already taking place. Georgette Wang states that, “It is important to note here that paradigm generally reflects more closely the needs, values, aspirations, and world views of the historic, social, and cultural context that has nurtured it.” (Pg. 3) The same paradigm that is running communication in the west, according to Wang, is the same that is currently dictating it at the global level. This is why the paradigm is shifting worldwide; it all starts with the communication shift in the west, and trickles out to the rest of the world. “To establish dialogue with the rest of the global academic community and contribute to theoretical discourse, researchers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America need to recognize the value and relevance of their cultural heritage to communication research and the potential of their unique media and communication matters in developing new methods, theories, and paradigms.” In order to keep the world on the right track of communication discipline, we need get away from the “west” and “non-‐west” cultural perception of research. Wang’s final statement of the article, Paradigm shift and the Centrality of Communication Discipline, adds on to what I had been researching when it comes to discipline. “ To establish the centrality of discipline, we need a dominant paradigm that can effectively guide and frame research. Yet the inadequacies of the existing paradigm in responding to the major changes in media and communication studies are increasingly visible. New theoretical frameworks are called for, but before it can happen, we need to face paradigmatic issues. This is
State of the Art Review Paper 4 the time to consider a paradigm shift.” (pg. 6) The world of communication is already shifting; it’s time for the paradigm to change with it. In the article, Shifting Paradigms: Decentering the Discourse of Mass Communication Research, Hanno Hardt researches the decentralizing of communication discipline. Hanno states, “Decentering of mass communication research as a discursive formation by an alternative cultural discourse that challenges its dominant ideology with return to communication as an emancipatory practice, guided by the subjective nature of theory, the centrality of human agency, and the permanent critique of social, political, and economic conditions of communication.” (pg. 1) He says that the decentering of mass communication occurred under the influence of modernist and postmodernist European ideas. They use culture, ideology, power, and language in the study of social formations. Hardt also realizes there are something’s that won’t always work for decentralizing communication. “It would be foolish to suggest, however, that decentering mass communication research has resulted in terminating universal or general claims to authoritative knowledge of communication and media, and that mass communication research in its institutional guise of journalism and mass communication has joined in sustained critique of media practices or embraced a critical pedagogy for the benefit of future intellectual work.” (pg. 6) Decentralizing communication research would work as part of solving the new paradigm shift that is happening in the communication world today. Based on research on the topics of discipline and paradigm shifts, it’s pretty clear that is very important. There are different theories on whether to centralize or
State of the Art Review Paper 5 decentralize the communication research. I personally agree with Wang, due to research I have conducted that we should centralize the communication discipline. This will set a precedent for the rest of the world. The new paradigm will be set and we can move forward globally and technologically in communication. This will steady the research and allow communication to continue to be considered a discipline. Communication is a widely used tool on every level of life. It needs to recognize by more people how communication can help them in their business, education, school or relationships. If communication can set a standard on how it is researched and the paradigm is set, mass communication will continue to be a discipline, and will continue to help everyone around the world.
State of the Art Review Paper 6 Reference PageWANG, G. (2011). Paradigm Shift and the Centrality of Communication Discipline.International Journal Of Communication (19328036), 51458-‐1466. Youell, D., & Downey, P. (2000). COMMUNICATION IN A NEW WORLD ORDER. Strategic Communication Management, 4(2), 28. Hardt, H. (1999). Shifting Paradigms: Decentering the Discourse of Mass Communication Research. Mass Communication & Society, 2(3/4), 175.