Reconstructing Communicating: Looking To A Future

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In this innovative and potentially controversial book, Penman examines the future of communication as a discipline. She foresees a time in which communicating is conceived as a social construction process, in the anticipation that this will allow a genuine practical response to contemporary social problems. The book sets out a map toward accomplishing that future--laying the foundations for a different way of conceiving of communication, enabling direct action, rather than just theorizing about it. It begins with a history illustrating how the communication discipline has arrived to where it is today and then goes on to demonstrate Penman's conception of communication. Reconstructing Communicating is an exploration of what it means to inquire into communicating; to treat communicating as the essential problematic of concern; and to recognize that we construct our reality in our communicating. In undertaking this exploration, the author pursues a central theme of what constitutes good communicating and good communication research. Arguments throughout this book provide a radical departure from mainstream communication studies and especially from the rationalist's quest for truth and scientific knowledge. A way of acting in good faith is offered, both with the process of communicating and with the participants in it, that generates practical understandings for constructing new futures. Designed for communication scholars and graduate students primarily in organizational communication, public relations, and communication theory, this book will also interest those in management and business as it deals with practical communication issues.