I’m just back from the Southern States Communication Association conference in Memphis where I presented a paper on ….ta ta ta ta: Simon Bolivar as Multipurpose Authorizing figure in the Rhetoric of Hugo Chavez. Believe it or not, this talk really is interesting (I promise!) and was well received.
I heard probably 2 dozen presentations; here’s the scoop so you can benefit as well. It’s pretty random.
1. Black people pray more frequently than white people.
2. Constructs like victimization and oppression are still popular in the academy.
3. Forgiveness is a process, not an event. (And trust must be earned.)
4. The National Homeland Security will not allow border patrol officers to be interviewed for communication research.
5. Jokes forwarded through email cannot be properly analyzed because the originator of the jokes is unknown.
6. The average amount of time spent on Face Book per day is 55 minutes.
7. Two scholars, who did their undergraduate work at Alabama and Auburn, posit that the SEC is like a religion in the South.
8. The death of Michael Jackson June 25, 2009, was considered a more significant event than my sister’s wedding on June 28, 2009. Who knew?
9. Older people pray more often than younger people.
10. State budget cuts are having a significant impact on Communication faculty. ;-(
11. The U.S. communication discipline is largely ethnocentric, even though they know better and teach that ethnocentrism is not helpful. (My responder noted this, not I.)
12. Communication scholars are more witty with words than other people. At least that what it seems to me.
13. Prayer and meditation reduce stress and tend to induce alpha states in the brain which is a state of relaxed concentration. (Can you tell I heard a long talk on prayer as communication?)
14. 60% of communication is nonverbal. (Other research suggests that words carry only 7% of the message.)
15. The online self is different from the offline self.
16. On average, the Face Book user has 130 friends.
17. A definition of forgiveness: Giving up all hope of having a different past.
Next year’s conference will be in March in Little Rock, Arkansas. Not sure if I’ll attend, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what’s new in communication. What does the study of communication mean to you?