With its aim to train the next generation of civic, social, and business leaders, the department’s research and teaching focus on four interrelated areas: Health Communication, Organizational Communication, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, and Telecommunication and Media Studies. The image above includes just a small selection of the scholarship in these fields published by A&M faculty members. By using humanistic and social scientific approaches, faculty and students cultivate links between and across these research areas, which generate new and innovative ways to combine theory and practice. Whether it is developing best practices to deliver health information, analyzing and managing an organization’s public image, exploring and engaging in issues of citizenship, power, politics, and the pubic sphere, or researching global media and technological trends, the unique combination of research areas allows A&M’s Communication department to meet the academic and business challenges of the 21st century.
HEALTH COMMUNICATION: Health communication researchers employ a diverse set of theoretical and methodological approaches to examine the role of communication in relation to the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Our contexts of study include clinical settings, family and social networks, health care organizations, and the general public. Topics of Publications: Health Promotion and Interactive Technology Patient-Centered Communication in Cancer Care research include clinician-patient communication and health outcomes, health-related decision-making in families, persuasive public health campaigns, the impact of social and professional changes on communication within health care organizations, and how interactive media contribute to health promotion.
ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION: Organizational communication researchers focus on the impact that communication processes—message transmission, meaning-creation, language-use, and symbolic action—have on the creating, maintenance, and transformation of organizations. Some of this work addresses the way that leadership and conflict is practiced in organizations. Other research examines organizational members’ use of communication strategies to develop organizational images, identities, and reputations, and to deal with reputational crises. A final research focus examines organizations’ use of rhetoric and symbolism to influence salient cultural assumptions, popular attitudes, and public policies.
RHETORIC AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Scholars in this area focus on how public discourse shapes and is shaped by choices confronting the public, ways in which texts and cultural practices of communication constitute identities and sustain democratic forms of citizen participation, and the interwoven fabric of power, politics, and speechmaking in American society. Research in the program includes classical, contemporary, and critical rhetorical theory; rhetorical history and the criticism of American public address; feminism and the intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender; the presidency; social movements; contemporary political campaigns; policy and media; visual rhetoric, materialism, and monuments; and freedom of expression.
TELECOMMUNICATION AND MEDIA: Scholars in telecommunication and media studies focus on media industries and technologies as systems of communication operating in specific cultural and historical contexts. They emphasize the role of media in globalization, the appropriation of media in the local context, international and comparative studies, and give equal attention to new media and historical studies. Faculty research includes global media and historical studies. Faculty research includes global media, communication technology, law and policy, political economy, cultural studies, media economics, popular communication, race and gender, and the social, political, and geopolitical implications of media and new media technologies.