As a result of its roots in various disciplinary traditions, communication studies is a fragmented field, built on fluid intellectual boundaries with no theoretical or analytical center.
Digital communication and academic globalization have dealt another blow to the aspiration to make communication studies a coherent, independent field of scholarly study.
Should we worry about this state of dispersion, or be concerned that the discipline does not meet the basic conditions that define an intellectual field of inquiry?
Silvio Waisbord argues that communication studies is a post-discipline, and that it is impossible to transcend fragmentation and specialization through a single project of intellectual unity.
What brings communication studies together is an institutional architecture of academic units, professional associations, and journals, rather than a shared commitment to a common body of knowledge, questions, and debates.
That communication is a post-discipline should not, Waisbord argues, be a matter of concern.
Communication studies is better served by respecting, accepting and stimulating differences, rather than hoping to meet conditions which would qualify it as a discipline.
We need to recognize dispersion, embrace pluralism, foster cross-cutting lines of inquiry, and tackle real-world problems that connect dispersed scholarships. Communication: A Post-Discipline is important reading for scholars and advanced students of communication studies, as well as anyone interested in the state of this fascinating and vital academic field.