Monday, September 24, 2018

MediaTheory: A History of a Science: Thomas Kuhn (W6-P2) Fa18

Now that we've covered, to some degree, the three big names of Darwin, Freud and Marx, we can start to see their influence on communication study.

Next we'll take a look at some particular sub-fields within communication study and discover the influence of the big 3 on those specific sub-fields.

However, to do that, we need a good understanding of Thomas Kuhn and his concept of scientific revolutions.

Earlier we talked about study of history in general, now, with the help of Kuhn, we will look at the history of science, our science -- communication study.

Note: Earlier the readings for this course, we covered Kuhn's concepts of paradigm and paradigm shift.

While not as visually appealing, let's also take a quick look at this informative description of Kuhn and his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Kuhn's theory of scientific development can be used to understand the history of communication study and specific sub-fields within the discipline of communication.

For example see:
Rogers, E. M. & Hart, W. B. (2002). The histories of intercultural, development, and international communication. In W. B. Gudykunst and B. Moody (Eds.), Handbook of International and Intercultural Communication, 2nd Edition (pp. 1-18). Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage Publications.

Kuhn's ideas have also been used to tell paradigmatic history of agenda-setting theory.

Rogers, E. M., Hart, W. B. & Dearing, J. W. (1997). A paradigmatic history of agenda-setting research. In S. Iyengar & R. Reeves (Eds.). Do the Media Govern?: Politicians, Voters, and Reporters in America (pp. 225-236). Thousand Oaks: CA, Sage Publications.

Before reading the agenda-setting chapter, it may be helpful to get a good grasp of the basics of agenda-setting theory.

Did you spot the parts of paradigmatic history just in this short video?

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