Final Com Theory Reads

As per seminar participants’ requests, we are going to talk a bit about the intersection of Com Theory and Policy. There are a lot of ways we could approach this — talking about agent and interaction modeling, about ideas surrounding the global civil society, more in the direction of Pool or of Deutsch — but I’m going to try to kill a couple of birds by taking a cursory look at Habermas and issues surrounding the formation of public discussion. This links back to our earlier concerns about the public, and forward to new technologies. So, for November 30:

* Habermas, J. (1991). Social structures of the public sphere. The structural transformation of the public sphere: An inquiry into a category of bourgeois society (pp. 27-56). Cambridge: MIT Press. (This is a piece of the larger argument, but gets at the major thrust, I think. Note also that most now refer to Habermas’s broader work in Communicative Action.)

* Froomkin, A. M. (2003). Habermas@discourse.net: Toward a critical theory of cyberspace. Harvard Law Review, 116(3). (Yes, this will have to be a victim of the “fast-reading” Bourdeiu complains so much about. As you are working through, link back to some of the larger questions we have been asking about technology and the public during the semester.)

* (optional) Lenert, E. (1998). A communication theory perspective on telecommunications policy. Journal of Communication 48(4).

On December 7, we will wrap up with a discussion of metatheoretical concerns. Readings for this include:

* Chaffee, S. H. & Berger, C. R. (1988). What communication scientists do. Handbook of communication science (pp. 99-122). Newbury Park: Sage.

* Craig, R. T. (1999). Communication theory as a field. Communication Theory, 9, 119-161.

* Streeter, T. (1995). Introduction: For the study of communication and against the discipline of communication. Communication Theory, 5(2), May, 117-129.

* (optional) Deetz, S. (1994). Future of the discipline: The challenges, the research, and the social contribution. In S. Deetz (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 17 (pp. 565-600). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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