Interdisciplinary Studies Academic Disciplines Communication and Women's Studies Research Paper

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Interdisciplinary Studies -- Academic Disciplines -- Communications and Women's Studies

Even a cursory review of major U.S. universities reveals a "Communications" Discipline and a "Women's Studies" Discipline of one sort or another in most if not all of these major universities. Researching ASU's Communications and Women's Studies programs gives a strong overview of common characteristics. While ASU may use some different terminology, it offers the same essential subject matter and subfields.


Description of Communications Discipline/Subject Matter

Communications Studies are increasingly globally important. The worldwide relevance and interplay of Communications Studies can be seen, for example, in the fact that China and Japan have agreed to collaborate in their Communications Studies programs (JIJI Press America, Ltd., 2005). In addition, major universities across the United States now offer Communications Studies in one form or another. One university with an extensive Communications Studies program is Arizona State University. The ASU Hugh Downs School of Human Communication takes a comprehensive approach to the area of "Communications" (Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, n.d.). Encompassing both Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, the School seeks to expedite "healthy" relations and places of work, amiable and protected communities and productive intercultural interplay by studying and critiquing human communication to create "knowledge, creativity and understanding" (Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, n.d.). On the Undergraduate level, the School awards Bachelor of Arts degrees and is intent on teaching the creation, maintenance and transformation of identities, relations, places of work and communities through the processes of communication (Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, n.d.). In that vein, the School focuses on foundational knowledge about research methods and theories of communication, as well as conceptual knowledge and practical skills for a global dynamic and complex world (Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, n.d.).

The stress on communications aptitude and developed skills is evident in ASU's requirements for admissions consideration into its Doctoral Program. In addition to a Bachelor's or Master's Degree, the successful applicant must give evidence of scholarly writing in the form of an honors thesis, Master's thesis, or the equivalent. Furthermore, applicants must be knowledgeable in basic qualitative and quantitative research methods, communication theory and social statistics. Finally, the applicant's scholastic/professional records must show special interest and aptitude for systematic communications research (Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, n.d.).

Sub-Fields within the Communications Discipline

The Communication Undergraduate Major subfields are necessarily wide-ranging, including: the impacts of gender, race and social class on communication; communications on family and personal levels; communications in organizations; conflicts and negotiations; strategic global communication; intercultural persuasion, communication and social influence; rhetoric; public discourse; performance's influence on individual and community identities; technology's role in communications on interpersonal, organization and cultural levels (Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, n.d.). These wide-ranging subfields are pursued in an effort to empower graduates for applied communications skills in: postgraduate education in law, business and other communications-related fields; careers in human resources, sales, public relations, management of nonprofit organizations and undefined careers centered on skills in research, effective communications, statistics and critical thinking.

Women's Studies

Description of Women's Studies Discipline/Subject Matter

Research shows that Women's Studies are also globally important, spanning U.S. universities and foreign universities such as National Taipei University (, 2012), Germany's Humboldt University (, 2012), and Israel's Bar-Ilan University (, 2012). An example of an extensive Women's Studies program placed in global human context can be found at Arizona State University. The academic area of Women's Studies at ASU is placed within the broader context of "Social Transformation," along with: African and African-American Studies; Asian Pacific American Studies; Culture, Society and Education; Justice and Social Inquiry. Boasting one of the country's largest and dynamic programs, the Women's Studies program awards Bachelor of Arts degrees and operates on core values of cultural diversity and global engagement, using an interactive learning environment of multiple perspectives dealing with real issues and developing life-long learning tools (School of Social Transformation, n.d.). Based on the belief that knowledge about gender and women leads to action, ASU's Women's Studies strives…

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