Positioning Gender as Fundamental in Applied Communication Research

Taking a Feminist Turn

Authored by: Patrice M. Buzzanell , Rebecca J. Meisenbach , Robyn Remke , Helen Sterk , Lynn H. Turner

Routledge Handbook of Applied Communication Research

Print publication date:  June  2009
Online publication date:  July  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805849837
eBook ISBN: 9780203871645
Adobe ISBN: 9781135231798


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Applied communication researchers seek to make a difference in the world by focusing on critical features of communication grounded in everyday discourse and practices. Wood (2000) noted that applied communication research creates a distinctive “posture toward the goals of scholarly inquiry, an inclination to ask particularly pragmatic questions about how communication does, might, and should operate in a range of settings and how communication practices in sundry settings inform theory” (p. 189). Feminist research takes this pragmatic posture a step further by requiring attention to the ongoing tensions between reinforcement of dominant societal expectations and personal agency. When gender is seen as an organizing principle for everyday interactions as influenced by institutional and societal structures, and when researchers advocate for equitable participation of women and men in communication venues, applied communication scholarship and practice takes a feminist turn.

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