Date of this Version
What we commonly refer to as “global media studies” or “global communication studies” still struggles to live up to its name. Mercifully, the field appears to have exited the suffocating paradigmatic monoliths of the past, opening up space for theoretical and methodological experimentation and for studies grounded in a geosocial locus but without predetermined outcomes. At the same time, the field is painstakingly coming to terms (to speak optimistically) with its Western ethos and location. Most parts of the world contribute mainly case research framed by Anglo-American, French, or German theory. Other approaches rarely become theoretical guideposts, with the notable exception of Latin American cultural theory (itself with unequivocal European influences). This “weak” internationalization is clearly caused by the precariousness of institutions of knowledge production in much of the world and the lack of (required) instruction in languages other than English (sometimes French or German) in the West, especially in the United States. “Strong” internationalization would require the integration of theoretical ideas and historical experiences from the non-West in knowledge production not only in the West but also about the West, with corresponding linguistic and cultural competences. As I have argued elsewhere (Kraidy 2005), if American studies has managed to make this issue central to its development, a field that calls itself “global communication studies” has no excuse not to.
Date Posted: 27 April 2012
This document has been peer reviewed.