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Communication Collection


Kenneth Liss
Communication Bibliographer

Collection Overview

The communication collection supports the study and research needs of faculty and students in the Communication Department.  The department offers courses in mass communication, rhetoric, journalism, television and radio production and theory, advertising, public relations, media law, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and electronic publishing and design.  The communication collection covers a variety of topics, many of which overlap with other subject areas such as psychology, sociology, political science, business, gender studies, and film studies. Monographs, serials and electronic resources are selected to support the study of communication in all forms.
Communication is one of the largest undergraduate major at Boston College.  An honors program and an active program of student internships are also available to students.
There are currently more than twenty full-time faculty members in Communication.  Additional courses are taught by part-time faculty who teach at other institutions or who are practicing professionals in the fields of radio, television, journalism, advertising, and public relations. Some of the research interests of the full-time faculty members include: communication law; advertising and visual communication; gender issues in communication; public relations and crisis communication; freedom of expression; television criticism; rhetoric; talk radio; political communication; communication and popular culture; globalization of media; organizational communication; health communication; ethics and communication; interpersonal communication; violence and the media; and intercultural communication.  | View selected resources ยป

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Interdisciplinary Elements of Subject Area
The interdisciplinary nature of communication studies can be seen in two ways. First, communication is an important aspect of all kinds of human activity and therefore a subject of study in many disciplines. This is evident in the titles of such scholarly journals as Health Communication, Political Communication, Science Communication, Management Communication Quarterly, Education, Communication & Information, Journal of Communication and Religion, and others, and also in articles in more general publications in these disciplines. Second, the study of different aspects of communication involves perspectives, approaches, theories, and ideas from many other disciplines, including psychology, sociology, political science, literature, linguistics, women's studies, and others. Freedom of speech and other issues are widely covered in legal sources; information about media industries is found in business sources. Databases and indexes in all of these subject areas are used regularly to find journal literature in communication, and major communication databases include many articles of relevance to these subjects.

Formats and Types of Materials
Formats collected include print, electronic, microform, and audiovisual. Types of materials include monographs, serials, videos and DVDs, and reference works including major indexes, abstracts, catalogs, bibliographies, yearbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, research guides, and directories.

English is the primary language of the collection.

Geographic Area Coverage
The United States has been the primary area of focus, with growing interest in the globalization of media, intercultural communication, and other aspects of communication beyond the borders of the U.S.

Time Periods
Mass communication is a relatively young field; therefore, works from the twentieth century forward are the primary focus of the collection.

Date of Publication
Emphasis is on current imprints with some retrospective purchases to support new department or faculty research interests