International Communication: Filling the Gap

The Evolution of International Communications is fairly recent compared to many fields of its kind and has grown enormously. Compared to many similar areas of study, International Communication differs with its vast interdisciplinary aspects. For example in a 2007 speech given by Gary Weavers in Japan, he notes that International Communication includes but is not limited to: studies of culture, identity, culture and personality theory, psychological anthropology, and cross-cultural communications. This mixture of studies that make up International Communication is what drew me to the field. I love that it encompasses so much. Yet, it always makes it very difficult for me to answer the question “what is International Communication.” I think, yes there are many common threads of International Communication, but I also find that this field has a different meaning to all those that are involved. My answer of defining International Communications is going to be different than my colleagues, however there will be some overlaps.

Communication, as noted by James Carey in A Cultural Approach to Communication is a “symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed”(23). The Study of International Communications allows us to be able to define communication and its history, and why systems are the way they are today. Theories of International Communication have also been conceived.

Like Weaver referenced, I think International Communication is filling a gap within International Relations by bringing many fields together and allowing pieces of the worlds’ puzzle to be solved. It allows us to broaden our understanding of our own and others cultures. We are able to appreciate what systems and what developments we like or don’t like.

Looking at communication developments and cross-cultural understandings has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go. Most of the early research in the field had to do with communicating western ideas to people in the third world, rather than how to communication with people in the third world (Weaver). Today, this is not totally the case but there are still some needs for improvement.

In the future of International Communications, I want to see a continuation of fields and people of different disciplines coming together allowing International Communications to be an ongoing process that we can all be a part of.

-Liza

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