chapter  19
12 Pages

Lost in abundance? Reflections on disciplinarity

ByKaarle Nordenstreng

In 1959, Bernard Berelson announced that communication research was “withering away.”2 His obituary of the field turned out to be so fundamentally mistaken that it stands out as a monument in the historical landscape of communication research. Coincidentally, the same gallery of 1959 monuments includes the setting of the foundation stone for the Annenberg School for Communication (ASC), which since then has been a central source of scholarship proving Berelson wrong. As someone who has been active in the field during its predicted period of decimation, both attending the school’s conferences since the early 1970s3 and publishing in its journal since the mid-1970s,4 I use this chapter to offer some reflections about the overall profile of the field of communication, with a focus on media studies as a window on the field’s disciplinary status.