Project Archive: Communication Literacy: An Introduction to Communication Studies

This is a snapshot of project information archived on 2 September 2022. Please contact the project team for most recent updates.

Communication Literacy: An Introduction to Communication Studies

Subject: Media, Journalism & Communication Studies

Book Language: English

Audience: Students and Faculty in Higher Education in Communication Studies and Related Fields

Created date: August 26, 2020

Updated date: September 6, 2021

Target Release Date: 2021-05-31


  • Attribution
  • Non-Commercial
  • Share Alike


  • Ancillaries Contributors
  • Authors
  • Peer Reviewers


In today’s world, it’s difficult or even nearly impossible to function without some level of

communication literacy

. That term, communication literacy, refers to the ability of an individual to not only convey their ideas, information, and messages to others, but also to be able to interpret and understand the ideas, information, and messages that they receive. The processes involved in communicating, or transferring messages and ideas between people, are far more intricate than many people recognize. In today’s world, these processes include a variety of forms and styles, such as interpersonal, digital, public, media, intercultural, transnational, gendered, racial, group, and organizational communication, to name a few. We refer to people who have the ability to communicate effectively in one or more of these modes as having

communication competency

, which requires a high level of “communication literacy” and knowledge of how communication actually works.

Short Description:

This text provides a basic survey of the fields of communication studies. In this text, we explore different approaches to communication studies, from the study of speech communication, to communication as the basis of relationships, to media and digital forms of communication. We will explore how people construct identities using communication processes. We also take a look at the impact of culture on communication styles while simultaneously investigating how cultures are literally made of communication practices. We will explore how individual voices and communication abilities are used to reach out to a variety of audiences, market selves to potential employers and colleagues, interact with friends and relatives, and voice concerns and potentially change the wrongs perceived in the world.


Introduction to Communication Studies

This chapter outlines a basic introduction to the field(s) of communication studies.


The History of Rhetoric

The Foundations of Rhetoric

Roman Rhetorics

The Dialectical Re-Turn

The Communication Fields

Communication Theory

Behavioral Theories and Models

Interpretive Theories

Critical Theory

Public Communication

Public Communication: Public Argument, Journalism, and Advocacy

Rhetorical Responsibility

The Fourth Estate

Advocacy and Strategic Communication

Communicating Identity

Identity and Performance as Communication Practice

From Rhetorical Identity to Performance Studies

Theories of Identity and the Self in Communication Studies

Performativities, Resistance, and Subversion

Communication and Culture

Communicating Culture

Intercultural Communication and the Foreign Service Institute

Ethnography of Communication

The Impact of Cultural Studies in Communication

Sex and Gender in Communication

Gender Communication

Gender, Sexuality, and Discourse

Feminist Media Studies

Sex and Gender as Rhetorically Constructed Commodities

Queer Communication

Relational Communication

Human Communication

Interpersonal Communication

Abuse and Conflict in Relationships

Small Group Communication

Organizational Communication

Popular Communication

Media Studies and Popular Communication

Two Approaches: Mass Communication and Media Studies

Popular Culture Studies: Bowling Green and Birmingham

Postmodern and Post-Structural Media Theory

Convergence Media

Digital Communication

Digital Communication Studies


Digital Rhetoric

Digital Media Literacies

Communication Literacy

Communication Literacy

“Post-Truth” Communication Studies