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Title:Communication studies in Africa: the case for a paradigm shift for the 21st century
Authors:Taylor, Donald S.
Nwosu, Peter Ogom
Mutua-Kombo, Eddah
Periodical:Africa Media Review (ISSN 0258-4913)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:media and communication studies
mass media
Communication--Study and teaching
Abstract:The paradigm for communication education in African universities has historically revolved around a mass communication or media-centred perspective. This is illustrated by an overview of communication studies curricula at eight selected universities from anglophone Africa. This orientation of the discipline resulted from structural forces that derived from historical legacies rooted in Africa's colonial past as well as the theoretical attraction of the mass media as agents of change. Additionally, the need to train university graduates for careers in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and advertising has helped to entrench this paradigm as the cornerstone of communication education in Africa. Elsewhere, however, the discipline has experienced widespread growth in human communication specialties in such areas as intercultural communication, speech communication, and interpersonal communication. This paper argues for a paradigm shift, asserting that the time is ripe for the discipline at African universities to expand by shifting towards greater emphasis on human communication. Such a transformation would permit better understanding of the African communication environment as well as enable scholars to better respond, from a communication perspective, to the challenges of development in such areas as conflict resolution and interethnic disputes. To achieve this, the authors suggest that a consortium of communication scholars and other stakeholders convene to engage in discussions on new ways of thinking about communication education. Bibliogr., note, sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]