The basic theme of this volume is excellent. Readers are treated to fascinating explorations of communication at the boundaries between discourses and selves. The essays address important theoretical issues, and do so often by treating significant social issues. Most welcome is the constructive tone that is for the most part maintained throughout the volume, demonstrating an effort to understand, engage, and critically assess different discourses and selves (and others) at once, without valorizing one over the other.
An essential theme running through this volume is the idea that our efforts to engage, as well as other's efforts to engage us, have been seriously impaired because of problems which are fundamentally communicative in nature. More specifically, there is general agreement among the contributors that the voice of other has not been sufficiently heard, and this on account of how discourses of the human sciences, as well as other dominant discourses (e. g. law) have structured our interaction with other. Each of the essays helps to clarify the nature of the communicative failing and to develop an appropriate corrective action.
Michael Huspek is Associate Professor of Communication at California State University, San Marcos Gary P. Radford is Associate Professor of Communication at William Paterson College of New Jersey.
"This volume is engaging to read. It addresses important theoretical issues from styles of academic writing and arguing, to subjectivities, to Foucault's notions of discourse, struggle, and blank space, to otherness, to social constructions of the body. Additionally, significant social issues are addressed from legal and medical proceedings, to rape, to effects of radiation. Combining these ideas with these issues, and addressing the general theme of boundaries between discourses and selves, takes the reader through a rich and fascinating set of theoretical materials and social dynamics. " -- Donal Carbaugh, author of Situating Selves: The Communication of Social Identities in American Scenes