Of Matters Micro and Macro: Special Issues for Communication Research

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Communication Research

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Micro-macro issues are of continuing concern to many of the social sciences (see, e.g., Alexander, Giesen, Munch, & Smelser, 1987), and they are of particular importance to communication research. Communication has been described as a “cross-level” discipline, a field of scholarship concerned with processes operating simultaneously at many levels-cultural, social, psychological, and neurological (Paisley, 1984). Not surprisingly, there have been repeated calls for better theoretical integration of research across communication's constituent subfields (i.e., interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication). Similarly, within topical research areas such as health communication and political communication, there have been calls for “process” theories that address interrelationships among variables across levels. The cross-level nature of communication research can be viewed in several ways. Certainly it can be seen as a reflection of the phenomena we study. Human communication behaviors are complex, and they implicate processes at several levels, but the interest in integrating research and theory across levels can also be viewed, against the backdrop of organized institutional divisions within the modern university, as part of continuing efforts to define communication as a unified discipline in the social sciences. © 1991, Sage. All rights reserved.


Copyright © 1991 SAGE Publications



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