Full Text

Introduction The Challenges Of this Encyclopedia

Wolfgang Donsbach, General Editor

Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.00005.x


The reader of this introduction who expects of it a concise description of what the field of communication is and an overview of its state of the art will be massively disappointed. I am very confident, however, that this overview can be found within this encyclopedia. In my view, the best available account, describing development, fields, paradigms, and current problems of the academic side of “communication,” is an entry by one of the advisory editors, and therefore I refer readers to Robert T. Craig's entry on “Communication as a Field and Discipline.” In a pluralistic manner, being fair to the rival camps, it gives a detached, analytical, and encompassing description of where we came from and where we stand today – at least to the extent of what can be said in 6,000 words. If a whole field can be packed into an encyclopedia it means that there is at least some chance of defining its borders and naming its consensual evidence. Despite the fact that methodological and meta-theoretical disputes occur in any discipline (and belong to the sciences by default), communication has still been different in this from most of the other disciplines, particularly the natural sciences, which at least are more or less unanimously defined according to the scope of their objects and the canonization of their evidence. Textbooks, readers, or encyclopedias in, for instance, physics or economics ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top