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Where is 'the political' in the journal Political Communication? On the hegemonic articulation of a disciplinary identity

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Critical scholars have long critiqued the circumscribed theoretical boundaries of political communication research in its dominant disciplinary identity. This identity is usually attributed to the hegemonic authority of a functionalist paradigm of political communication anchored in the use of positivist epistemologies and quantitative methods. This article revisits these old debates from a post-foundational discourse theoretical perspective, drawing on arguments about the ontological implications of ‘the political’ to examine political communication’s hegemonic disciplinary form. The primarily theoretical argument is supported by an elementary empirical method that examines how the signifiers ‘ontology’ and ‘the political,’ and theorists associated with that vocabulary, are cited in a 24-year archive of articles from the journal Political Communication which we frame as a proxy for the dominant disciplinary identity. We argue that the relative invisibility of an otherwise influential political ontology literature in the journal supports our argument about the lack of theoretical pluralism in political communication research and suggests the enduring authority of a dominant disciplinary habitus that, even when it recognizes paradigmatic differences, sees methodological virtue as the guarantee of scholarly rigour. We end by reflecting on the politics of how different (inter)disciplinary identities are articulated in communication studies.
Tijdschrift: Annals of the International Communication Association
ISSN: 2380-8985
Volume: 47
Pagina's: 202 - 221
Jaar van publicatie:2023
Trefwoorden:A1 Journal article
Toegankelijkheid:Open