A Handbook of Media and Communication Research by Klaus Bruhn Jensen

By Klaus Bruhn Jensen

A guide of Media and Communications learn offers qualitative in addition to quantitative methods to the research and interpretation of media, masking views from either the social sciences and the arts. The guide bargains a finished overview of past learn and a suite of guidance for a way to contemplate, plan, and perform reports of media in numerous social and cultural contexts. Divided into sections at the historical past, systematics and pragmatics of study, and written by way of the world over stated experts in each one region, the guide should be a typical reference paintings for college students and researchers.

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Saying something is doing something. One lesson of rhetoric for current media studies is the understanding of communication as a form of action. Throughout the history of the humanistic disciplines reviewed below, an important challenge has been to strike a balance between this pragmatic-processual conception of communication and a focus on the structure of linguistic and other textual vehicles. At different times, humanistic research has taken either linguistic᭣ or pragmatic᭣ turns, respectively emphasizing communication as structure or as action.

More commonly, the semiotic tradition has contributed analytical procedures and methodological frameworks, which have lent a new form of systematicity to humanistic research on texts. Semiotics had two founding fathers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – the American philosopher and logician Charles Sanders Peirce and the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Their disciplinary backgrounds are key to their different conceptions of the study of signs. Recovering an undercurrent in the history of ideas, going back to Aristotle, Peirce developed a comprehensive philosophy of signs which he understood as a form of logic that would support inquiry into the nature of both knowledge and being (for key texts see Peirce 1992, 1998).

The sign stands for something, its object. (Peirce 1931–58: vol. 2: 228) Although signs are here said to mediate between objects (material and non-material) in reality and concepts in the mind, Peirce rejected any idealist, nominalist, or skepticist position. Peirce instead attempted to marry a classical, Aristotelian realism with the modern, Kantian insight that humans necessarily construct their understanding of reality in particular cognitive categories. Signs, then, are not what we know, but how we come to know what we can justify saying that we know, in science and in everyday life.

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