Thinking about mass communication research
The article presents an argument for a return to phenomenological (mass) communication research. The article is informed by social semiotics' emphasis on the multimodality of communication and phenomenological hermeneutics' emphasis on the development of a semiotic consciousness. The central argument is that the technology and market-driven media, media landscape and media culture have created a media studies which disregards and overlooks the phenomenological nature of mediated communication. The article expands on and substantiates this criticism as it has emerged from, what for the purpose of this article, is called a group of French, Harvard and Bloomington academics. As a solution the article argues for a phenomenological approach, taking as its point of departure the basic constructs of what constitutes mass communication, viz. signification, dialogue, rhetoric, and representation.