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Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Randall J. Koper

First Committee Member

Qingwen Dong

Second Committee Member

Carol Ann Hackley

Abstract

Many researchers have attempted to examine the paradigmatic status of the communication field. There have been numerous writings regarding areas of weakness within the field, in hopes to determine the fate of what many see as a "confused discipline." Some researchers have claimed the problems lie with the diverse nature of communication research, while others have cited a lack of proactive collegiality as the mam concern.

This study examines scholarly attitudes toward the state of the communication discipline including the paradigmatic status, scholarly reputation, issues of collegiality, homogeneity of research goals, and relevance to society. A survey was distributed to 350 randomly selected members ofNCA and ICA in the United States. Additional questions asked why scholars think students choose to major in communication and what the future holds for the field.

Results yielded several significant findings regarding each of the above variables. Also included is a discussion of research limitations as well as several suggestions for future research. One suggestion proposes that future research should examine scholarly attitudes based on the number of years they've been in the communication field. This could yield new knowledge regarding "old school" versus "new school" scholarly views on the reputation and paradigmatic status of the field.

Pages

72

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