Cross-Level Challenges for Communication Research: Epilogue

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Communication Research

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The articles appearing in this special issue illustrate both the opportunities and the difficulties involved in cross-level communication theory and research.1 They highlight many of the key concepts and questions that surface in discussions of levels of analysis, and extend our thinking about several topical domains within the field by exploring cross-level relationships. The articles also present a variety of arguments, criticisms, and often conflicting suggestions. In short, these essays faithfully reflect the complexities and confusions that attend efforts to close what has been termed “the micro-macro gap” (Eulau, 1986, chap. 3). In this epilogue, we offer our own reflections on some of the issues raised and positions taken in the articles. Because the notion of crossing levels in research implicates both our methods of inquiry and the structure of our theories in various ways, our outline is twofold. First, we discuss some basic conceptual and methodological considerations for cross-level research. Next we turn to matters of theory construction, discussing more generally the ways in which communication researchers can achieve better cross-level theory and research. Along the way, we hope to illustrate some key points of convergence among the articles. © 1991, Sage. All rights reserved.


Copyright © 1991, SAGE Publications



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