Article

Communication

Paul C. Adams

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2014 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199874002-0044
Communication

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Peter Gould once defined communication as “everything from a kiss to an international shipment of grain” (Gould 1991, p. 3, cited under General Overviews). The study of communication has been more narrowly bounded by most other geographers, focusing in particular on the ways in which information, ideas, impressions, attitudes, preferences, emotions, and beliefs circulate through space, and, in a complementary strand, how various texts represent places of all scales from the home to the cosmos. Generalizing from these two approaches, we could say that communication has primarily been viewed as geographically important because it circulates through spaces and because it represents places. In addition, communications subtly alter the places within which they occur, making places relatively more public or private and coloring people’s sense of place. Finally, it is of geographical interest that communications form topological connections with other communications, as texts reference other texts, link actively to other texts (for example, via html links), or otherwise collect and organize communicators to create various relational spaces. The study of communication is challenging because of this multiplicity, and the simultaneous ways in which communications capture places and spaces as content, while also occupying places and spaces as communication contexts. There are many challenges inherent in engaging with the literatures of media studies, journalism research, and communications theory, not least because non-geographers may blur or conflate these varied manifestations of space and place. For these reasons, the subject of communication poses a range of unique challenges from a geographical standpoint.

Article.  13036 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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