Taking time seriously? Theorizing and researching change in communication and media studies

2016-01-27T16:33:03Z (GMT) by Sabina Mihelj James Stanyer
Questions of change are of central importance to communication and media research, yet discussions on the temporal nature of change, and the challenges it raises for theorizing and researching communication, have so far remained sporadic and disconnected. This article argues that in order to adequately comprehend and explain change, the field needs to engage more fully with the challenges of researching change over time, and ground the theorizing of change more firmly in empirical research. The goal of this article is to foster a more concerted discussion on these issues that will hopefully move research forward. The first part of the article reviews the breadth and diversity of existing empirical approaches to comprehending change over time across the field. The article then identifies some of the problems and oversights of current approaches and discusses possible solutions, drawing both on proposals developed by communication and media scholars and those developed in other disciplines.