Call for Papers: Electronic Journal of Communication

Special Issue: Social Construction: Re-Opening the Conversation, Re-Constituting the Possibilities

Issue Editor: Mariaelena Bartesaghi, University of South Florida

Over the last five years, members of our field have intensified their discussion of social construction with renewed force and purpose. The 2006 National Communication Summer Institute on Social Construction, the creation of a “Communication as Social Construction” division at NCA, a new handbook, an edited collection, and a chapter in Communication Yearbook, are all examples of re-engagement with the ideas of social construction since, almost 20 years ago in their Communication Yearbook contribution, Shotter and Gergen claimed it as the central paradigm for Communication.

Inviting a reflection on and reformulation of options for social construction as a theoretical and practical approach to studying communication as continuously emergent in relationships, constitutive of social reality, consequential to communicators, experienced through the bodily senses, and afforded by their material circumstances, this special issue invites manuscripts in which authors are encouraged to take stock of our predicted and actual accomplishments, consider the tensions between the promised and actualized changes brought about by social construction work in Communication, and project the impact of social construction on the discipline in the next five to ten years. The focus is not only critical, but reflexive: How do we wish to reconstruct social construction?

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • the anxieties of relativism provoked by notions of the constructed world
  • the separation of discourse from materiality and embodiment
  • issues with the social construction of race, gender, sexuality and difference
  • social construction and the limits of the discursive
  • pushing the envelope of social construction
  • social construction by any other name in practical or theoretical applications

Papers may take pedagogical, philosophical, theoretical, interpretive, empirical, critical, or cross disciplinary perspectives. Papers should be approximately 7,000 words in length, excluding notes and references, in APA form, and submitted as a MS Word document, WordPerfect (wpd), or Rich Text (rtf) format, with MS Word preferred. Submit as an attachment by September 6, 2011. Authors who would like to discuss paper ideas are invited to contact the editor.