Communication Studies, Interdisciplinarity Debates, and the Quest for Knowledge

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Philip Onguny


This article focuses on interdisciplinarity as a “future field” and what it means for the communication discipline. It argues that, whereas interdisciplinarity has the potential to produce “high-risk, high-reward” research outcomes, communication studies has more to gain refining the vast body of knowledge that has shaped its conceptual and institutional particularities across time and space. Whereas this argument is not anything new, I contribute to these debates by emphasizing anthropological questioning, epistemological formulations, ethical reasoning, and the quest for meaning as potential modalities of consolidating the epistemic and political views that have guided the intellectual impetus of communication studies. The proposed refinement is predicated on the assumption that communication studies is already a boundary-crossing discipline; the very reason it arguably lacks coherent historical roots and scientific rationality. The article contributes to the debates on how to operationalize communication studies as a scientific domain without losing its unique boundary-crossing appeal.

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Author Biography

Philip Onguny, Saint Paul University

Associate Professor, Saint Paul University.