Communication History

Richard B. Kielbowicz

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online February 2011 | | DOI:
Communication History


All aspects of communication have historical dimensions. Historians of communication thus have a wide purview, studying the role of technology, institutional developments in the media, the production of messages, the reciprocal influences of communication and society, and much more. These studies—numbering in the tens of thousands—range from antiquarian accounts of single newspapers to expansive investigations of communication’s role in the rise and fall of civilizations. Eclectic in their research approaches, communication historians draw on the concepts and tools used in both the social sciences and the humanities. As social scientists, communication historians investigate broad patterns across time; some findings emphasize change, while others highlight continuity. As a humanistic endeavor, communication history considers unique events, persons, and developments—the contingencies that confound tidy social-scientific generalizations. Although communication history stands as a subdiscipline in its own right, it also serves as a valuable complement to nonhistorical inquiries. Many scholars use history as a backdrop for studies about contemporary issues in communication.

Article.  10521 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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