Female contributions to communication theories: a teaching and scientific proposal



Communication theories are a field of study in which the scientific contributions of female researchers have tended to be silenced. For this reason, the main purpose of this paper is to develop a framework to analyse the field of communication based on leading researchers who historically have tended to remain at the margins of official accounts, despite the importance of their contributions. Starting with a critical review of historical publications and key texts, this paper proposes a genealogy of female researchers from the first generation (1930s-1960s) within the main traditions of communication theories: functionalist, interpretive and critical. As a result, this hermeneutical and critical approach highlights the intellectual context of Columbia as the epicentre of female thought in the mid-twentieth century. Furthermore, the paper recovers certain key figures in the founding of the field of communication, including: Herta Herzog, Hazel Gaudet, Thelma Anderson, Marjorie Fiske, Hortense Powdermarker, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Mae Huettig, Helen Hughes, Rachel Powell and Mary Q. Innis. This proposal opens up and makes more heterogeneous the official canon of communication theories, historically dominated by male researchers. This paper concludes with the need to include female contributions in the field of communication. This will help overcome the gender bias that still characterises teaching and research in communication theory.


communication theories, female researchers, critical epistemology, research, teaching, gender


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Author Biography

Leonarda García-Jiménez, Universidad de Murcia / Colorado State University

Profesora Titular en la Universidad de Murcia y Affiliate Faculty en la Colorado State University




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