Body of Knowledge

Theoretical Approaches to Participatory Communication - Participatory Democracy as a Normative Foundation for Communication Studies
by Stanley Deetz

Extract from introduction: Without overlooking the tension between these theorists, Deetz attempts to use the work of contemporary theorists in a complementary fashion. With Rorty (1989), he advocates a pragmatist potition in which different approaches to research are evaluated with regard not to wether they are right or wrong, but rather with regard to what they allow us to do. With Foucault, he acknowledges the power relations in which all research practices and knowledge claims are embedded. The point here is not to find a way to settle conflicting knowledge claims, not to degrade truth, but to recall the disciplinary power necessary for any knowledge claims. With Habermas he sees dialogue as a means for coordinating action in a participatory, rather than merely a strategic or instrumental, manner. Social engagement, responsible acknowledgement of political interests, and dialogue oriented toward understanding are all essential parts of the intellectual's role today. At base, Deet's concern is to suggest that participatory forms of communication are central in daily life, in theorizing, and in democratically oriented political discourse.

Publication Type: Article / Chapter / Essay: 37 pages
Publisher: Hampton Press, Inc. (1999)
Location: Cresskill, NJ, USA
Language: English
ISBN: 1-57273-170-2

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