Areas of Emphasis

The School of Media & Communication at Bowling Green State University has a long and respected history of research and coursework that focus on scholarship related to intercultural communication, development communication, rhetoric, social movements, mass-mediated communication, emerging media, cyber culture, and more. The graduate programs in the School are organized around three areas of emphasis that are based in the research and academic interests of the graduate faculty. These areas inform the coursework offered in the School, and they serve as important components to the programs of study for graduate students.

Global Communication and Social Change

This area of emphasis draws together several key and complementary dimensions of humanistic research methods, substantive areas and theory. These include Intercultural and International Communication, Development Communication, Social Movements and Activism, Alternative and Activist Media, Political Economy, Rhetoric, and Organizational Communication. The area is modeled on the “Global Communication & Social Change” division that exists at the International Communication Association. At ICA, Global Communication & Social Change is described as an emphasis "to encourage and debate research on issues of production, distribution, content and reception of communications media at global, 'glocal,' transnational, transcultural, international and regional levels. Within this purview it encompasses work across a wide variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, concerning issues of media/mediated communication in cultural, economic, political or social contexts, including strategic mediated communication for development, social change or social justice." We adopt this approach to an integrated cultural-economic-political and critical engagement with social problems that often extend beyond localities to international and global processes.

Graduate faculty: Joshua Atkinson, Catherine Cassara, John Dowd, Radhika Gajjala, Alberto Gonzalez, Ellen Gorsevski, Lisa Hanasono, Lara Lengel, Tom Mascaro, Srinivas Melkote, Clayton Rosati

Interpersonal Communication

This area of emphasis examines interaction processes in a variety of social and personal relationships such as romantic relationships, family relationships and friendships in face-to-face and mediated settings.  Research and coursework within the area focuses on relationship processes in contexts such as health, sexuality, identity negotiation, relationship maintenance, information management and technology.  Varying theoretical (e.g., narrative, dialectical, social exchange, disclosure theories) and epistemological perspectives (post-positivist, social scientific, interpretivist, feminist, queer, critical) are explored.

Graduate faculty: Emily Anzicek, Sandra Faulkner, Lisa Hanasono, Kate Magsamen-Conrad, Laura Stafford

Media Audiences & Processes

This area of emphasis uses a social scientific approach to study the behavior of audiences and the process of how media content and technology influence the public agenda and individuals’ attitude, emotion, knowledge and interpretation of society.  These include Media Technology Adoption, Advertising and Social Media Consumption, Persuasion Process, Effects and Effectiveness of Advertising and Social Media, Effects of Media Narratives, Audience Theories, Audience Research Methods,  Media Psychology, Media Sociology, Media Industry Analysis, Social Network Analysis, Public Opinion, and Media Effects on Race, Gender and Society.  This emphasis includes both administrative applied research and theoretical research on these topics.  The research orientation is based on a quantitative approach and emphasizes the provision of generalizable empirical evidence in answering pertinent issues in media audiences and processes.

Graduate faculty: Rick Busselle, Louisa Ha, Lisa Hanosono, Ilyoung Ju, Yanqin Lu, Kate Magsamen-Conrad, Srinivas Melkote, Terry Rentner, Saif Shahin