Thinking dialectically about culture and communication

Judith N. Martin, Thomas K. Nakayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A survey of contemporary research reveals distinct and competing approaches to the study of culture and communication. These approaches reflect various metatheoretical assumptions, research goals, and beliefs about the role of power and relevance in contemporary research. In order to legitimate the various approaches and facilitate interparadigmatic discussion, this essay first examines the metatheoretical assumptions of current research and then proposes a dialectical approach to scholarship. First, we identify and describe four distinct paradigms of culture and communication, based on Burrell and Morgan's (1988) framework: functionalist, interpretive, critical humanist, and critical structuralist. For each paradigm, we identify metatheoretical assumptions, concomitant conceptualizations of culture, the relationship between culture and communication, and contemporary research exemplars. We then propose a dialectic approach that facilitates interparadigmatic dialogue and offers new ways to conceptualize and study intercultural communication. We offer six dialectics of intercultural communication practice that could guide future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalCommunication Theory
Volume9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

communication
Communication
intercultural communication
dialectics
paradigm
dialogue
Dialectics
Paradigm
Intercultural Communication
Humanist
Functionalist
Conceptualization
Structuralist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

Cite this

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (1999). Thinking dialectically about culture and communication. Communication Theory, 9(1), 1-25.

Thinking dialectically about culture and communication. / Martin, Judith N.; Nakayama, Thomas K.

In: Communication Theory, Vol. 9, No. 1, 02.1999, p. 1-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martin, JN & Nakayama, TK 1999, 'Thinking dialectically about culture and communication', Communication Theory, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 1-25.
Martin, Judith N. ; Nakayama, Thomas K. / Thinking dialectically about culture and communication. In: Communication Theory. 1999 ; Vol. 9, No. 1. pp. 1-25.
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