What can the history of communication studies tell us about its practical relevance in the future? The four “currencies” of academic success and an alternative chronology of the subject’s development in Germany since 1945

  1. Christian Schäfer


In German-language communication studies, the long-running debate about the increasingly important practical relevance of the subject is currently being picked up once again. In this article a reflection on the history of the subject since 1945 will be used to formulate a prediction for the possible development of the subject and the practice-related research being undertaken within it. Four basic “currencies” of academic success will be drawn upon to do this: reputation, public attention, funding, and evaluation results. These assist in constructing an alternative chronology of the subject, which also demonstrates the social forces which affect the “currencies.” This leads to the conclusion that the current incentive structures for each individual scientist in communication studies could lead to a bisection of the subject. One group will orientate itself increasingly on the requirements of modern science-based society and predominantly solve practical problems, while the second group will remain more dedicated to the classic understanding of science.


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Central European Journal of Communication

Vol. 6, No 1 (10), Spring 2013

Pages from 105 to 121

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