Communications vs. Cultural Studies: Overcoming the Divide

Abstract
The boundaries of the field of communications have been unclear from the beginnings. Somewhere between the liberal arts/humanities and the social sciences, communications exists in a contested space where advocates of different methods and positions have attempted to define the field and police intruders and trespassers. Despite several decades of attempts to define and institutionalize the field of communications, there seems to be no general agreement concerning its subject-matter, method, or institutional home. In different universities, communications is sometimes placed in humanities departments, sometimes in the social sciences, and generally in schools of communications. But the boundaries of the various departments within schools of communications are drawn differently, with the study of mass-mediated communications and culture{0} sometimes housed in Departments of Communication, Radio/Television/Film, Speech Communication, Theater Arts, or Journalism departments. Many of these departments combine study of mass-mediated communication and culture with courses in production, thus further bifurcating the field between academic study and professional training, between theory and practice.
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