Human Communication as a Field of Study

Selected Contemporary Views

Edited by Sarah Sanderson King

Subjects: Communication
Series: SUNY series, Human Communication Processes
Paperback : 9780887069871, 282 pages, August 1989
Hardcover : 9780887069864, 282 pages, August 1989

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents



Part I. An Orientation

1. Communication: Roots, Visions, and Prospects
Sarah Sanderson King

2. Human Communication as a Field of Behavioral Science: Jack Hilgard and His Committee
Wilbur Schramm

3. The Rhetorical Tradition
Samuel L. Becker

4. The Social Scientific Roots of the Mass Communication Tradition
Verling C. Troldahl

5. Mass Media: A Bricolage of Paradigms
Scott R. Olson

Part II. Sampling of Research and Scholarship

6. Communication in Establishing, Maintaining, and Terminating Interpersonal Relationships: A Study of Mateship
Donald P. Cushman

7. Intercultural Communication as a Focus of Research: A Programmatic Note
Wimal Dissanayake

8. Nonverbal Communication
Randall P. Harrison

9. Gender Communication
Annie L. Cotten-Huston

10. Organizational Communication
Rowland G. Baughman

11. The Role of Communication in High-Technology Organizations: The Emergence of High-Speed Management
Donald P. Cushman and Sarah Sanderson King

12. Perspectives for Research on Group Embeddedness in Organizations
Linda L. Pulnam

13. Political Communication: A Generic Rhetorical Criticism
Donald P. Cushman and Sarah Sanderson King

14. Telecommunications in an Information Society
Herbert S. Dordick

Part III. Future Directions

15. Communications Study: A Futures Perspective
Frederick Williams

16. The Breadth of Communication Research and the Parameters of Communication Theory
Robert E. Sanders

17. Communication, Knowledge, and Ethics: A Twentieth Century Perspective
Donald P. Cushman and Sarah Sanderson King




The authors analyze and discuss the field of communication from a multidimensional point of view. Divided into three parts, the first traces its history from scientific, humanistic, and technological roots. The second explores communication theory in the areas of interpersonal, organizational, mass media, intercultural, telecommunication, nonverbal, and with reference to issues of gender as the authors summarize the most significant theories, research, and practices in each area. A discussion of the future direction of communication research is provided in the final section.

Sarah Sanderson King is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Central Connecticut State University.


"I think the idea behind this book is excellent. There is nothing currently available which duplicates it, and it fills a real need. " — Gerry Philipsen

"The field of communication suffers from a dearth of theoretical discussion. King's book provides a feel for the diversity and evolution of communication as a field of study. " — Ted. J. Smith III