Communicology 2. Introductory Article. F.I.Sharkov

Felix Sharkov, Chief Editor, President of the International Academy of Communicology, Doctor of Social Sciences, Professor, Honored Worker of Science, Honorary Worker of Higher Professional Education of Russia, Full Member and Presidium Member of the Academy of Natural Sciences Section of Encyclopedic Knowledge.

The appearance of the scientific journal "Communicology" is quite natural. The communicative direction in the study of social reality today is developing in an avalanche, and has sufficiently developed theoretical basis and practical results obtained in the framework of current conceptual approaches and research paradigms.

In American universities the communication courses are given since the late 30-ies of the last century, there are specializations and degrees of МА, MS, Ph.D. for specialities of «communications», «communications management»,  communications studies», «mass communications», etc. In the U.S. more than two dozens of scientific journals dedicated to communication exist, for example, «Communication Research», «Journal on Communication Inquiry», «Communication Abstracts», «Management Communication Quarterly», «Written Communication», «Human Communication Research» and others. The first department of general problems of communication development was established in the USA more than half a century ago. Nowadays the departments on various communicology areas exist in almost all the leading American and European universities. In recent years the departments of communication sociology, intercultural communication, marketing communications and others have been also established in Russian universities.

During twenty years the number of graduates of U.S. universities with a degree in communications has increased threefold, to 60,000 undergraduate, 6,000 master's degrees and 500 doctoral theses per year1. In 1999 the «Standard Communication Vocabulary» of more than 1200 pages, was reissued in New York; a few years earlier the «International Communication Encyclopedia» was issued, reviewing more than fifty-year history of scientific research, practices and teaching of social communication2. In 2006 the reference book «Modern Marketing Communications» of 22 quires, written by the author of this article, was issued by the publishing house «Alpha-Press».

Today the International Communication Academy, International Communicative Association of USA, European Communication Congress work successfully. In December of 2000 the Russian Communicative Association (RCA) was established to fulfill the conceptionualization of communication as a branch of knowledge and development of the communicative education in Russia3. In 2006 the Communicative Agency Association of Russia was established (CAAR).

Currently many Russian specialists are being prepared to work in different communicative fields (bachelor and master on the advertisement and public relations, on the professional communication directions and others). In Russia in recent years the applied communicative training directions (linguistics and intercultural communication, marketing communication) became the professions in great demand in mass-media and other areas.
In the standard of the third generation for the direction «Advertisement and Public Relations» the modules «Communicology» and «Integrated Communications» are the base (mandatory) ones. In 2009-2013 in the Publishing-Trade Corporation «Dashkov and Co.» the following manuals and school-books of the noted series were issued, presented by me to the research and educational community and students: «Communicology: encyclopedia-directory», «Communicology: Communication Theory Foundations», «Communicology: Mass Communication Sociology», «Communicology: Communicative Consulting», «Integrated Communications: Advertisement, Public Relations, Branding», «Integrated Communications: Legal Regulation in Advertisement, Public Relations and Journalism», «Integrated Communications: Mass Communications and Media-Planning» (together with V.N. Buzin).

Appealing to readers and future authors, I present some my theoretical paradigms which might be useful to determine the subject matter of your issues presented for publication.

In my author’s definition the communicology is a system of the formed knowledge and activity to get new communication knowledge, synthesizing them into the united knowledge (science):
1) communication theory, 
2) different communication theories developed by different authors (for example, theory of mass communication, theory of intercultural communication, many theories of sociolinguistics communication, theory of egalitarian communication etc.);
3) sciences and scientific directions studying different communications (sociology of communication, communication psychology and others);
4) theory and practice of communicative activity in different aspects of society using different aids and with different subjects.

Communicology includes acquisition and synthesis of new knowledge regarding the following: kinds and models of communication, functions of communication systems, structure and content of the intercultural communication, and also research methods of the intercultural communication in different social aspects. Besides, the communicology studies the problems of ethnic, national, territorial, social characteristics of communicants and their private characteristics; linguistics, psychological, psycholinguistics, semiotics, semiosociopsychological components of the intercultural communication theory.

Communicology also considers communication features of economical, political, cultural and social fields of society (including the educational, industrial, electorate and others), ensuring of information flows in the modern society both on the interpersonal and global level.

In the forming scientific direction of «communicology» such theoretical and practical aspects of communication should be considered as processes, models of communication, technology and tools, and also methods of formation and functioning of different models in various socio-cultural and linguistic spaces.

Scientific apparatus of «communicology» has not been developed to the level of a terminological system yet, as well as the entire systematic understanding of the communicological theory itself has not been formed – it is still poorly connected with a communication theory, many theories of different communications developed by different authors (for example, mass communication theory, intercultural communication theory etc.) and also the practice of communication activity in different spheres of society using various tools and with different subjects. All this causes an obvious exploratory interest.

At first let’s try to figure out how the basic communicology conception is formed, how the interpretation process of the fundamental communication conceptions takes place. The examination of communicology in the context of interaction with other interdisciplinary areas is also important.

The communicology object, – communication, – results from the definition given by the author. The subject area of communicology. The variety of the subject area of «communicology» is indicated by the modern development of such new interdisciplinary directions as public relations, region studies, pedagogical, linguistic and area studies and many others, inevitably including the problems of communication theory and practices into their research and training programs. The applied and theoretical communication aspects are also a part of the specialty of the traditional philological cycle, for example, «Linguistics and Intercultural Communication». The program of this specialization includes such academic subjects as «Introduction to Intercultural Communication Theory», «Basic of Intercultural Communication Theory», «Semiotics», «Practical Training Session for Intercultural Communication». The concepts of communication and intercultural communication, the structure of communicative act are studied within these subjects.

Future specialists in public relations study such subjects as «the basis of communication theory», «sociology of mass communication», «psychology of mass communication», «theory and practice of mass information», «theory and practice of public relations», «advertisement in the communication process», and future specialists in advertisement – subjects as «mass communications», «mass communications and media-planning», «advertisement communications» and others.

Today «a rather rich and diverse in its preparedness and scientific status cognitive material emerges, revealing different aspects of social communication. But there is no system of social-communication sciences for there is no system of interaction between social-communication disciplines. However, there is an accumulated extensive «building material» for creating such a system. So, what is missing? A summarizing teaching, meta-theory, which would have abolished the segregation of the branches of research complexes and sub complexes and would ensure the exchange of ideas, methods, achievements and difficulties between them»4.

There is a body of sciences and scientific directions with a common object (communication) and wholly or partially differing subject, method, structure and language.

Disciplinary organization of «communicology» science. At its first stage any science stays within the available practice. Among the factors forming a science are interdisciplinary studies.

Disciplinary organization of the science «communicology» is a system of disciplines with explanation of various connections between them. Communicology is to unite a variety of theoretical systems related to the range of communication problems one way or another. At each stage of its formation any science passed its particular stage of institutionalization, connected with the organization of research and modes of reproduction of the subject of scientific work5.

Communicology will also pass these stages.

The paradox of the development of the communicology process is that it is to make up for the shortcomings of a specialized approach meaning a further specialization and differenti-action of knowledge about communication. Differentiation, in this case, is the basis and means of integrating knowledge about communication. «Science comes to unification of knowledge through its subdivision. But this subdivision is, so to speak, not dividing but uniting»6.

«New ideas and constructions in science appear as a result of the theoretical synthesis that contains the category of philosophical outlook, projecting a method of scientific and theoretical thinking.» Back in the early 70-ies of the last century Doctor of Philosophy P.V. Kopnin, the famous Soviet scientist and the Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, talked about the changes in science:
1) the view on the value and role of the visual image in science changed and forced the rapid development of the artificial language, standing away from the clearness;
2) the role of the experience and theoretical thinking in achieving new results was reappraised. Of course, the experience was and still is a source of new scientific ideas. But the theory is not a simple transformation of the experimental data, but the synthesis, where theoretical thinking is becoming increasingly important, acting as a powerful promoting factor for the fundamental ideas that give rise to new theories;
3) mathematization and formalization of knowledge, full of aspiration to put an end finally to an intuitive moment in it, became a fact. But at the same time another tendency takes place – the inclusion of this intuitive moment to new theoretical strictures as a main aid of movement.
Certainly, knowledge seeks more and more to a logical rigor, one of the elements of which is formalization, but at the same time a science, at earlier, needs ways out of the hard despotism of a formal logical deduction, it also needs leaps, the movements of thought to fundamentally new results, it needs a bold advancement of ideas, conceptions which has no strict scientific explanation yet. A science cannot develop without it.
4) the accumulation of a science fabric with conceptions and terms of an instrumental character, directed not straight to the object studied, but to the knowledge itself about this object, developed by a meta-theory and meta-science;
5) the aspiration to the development of fundamental theories synthesizing knowledge from various fields of science. The science in its theories suddenly reveals unexpected connections between phenomena which seemed, due to their nature, to have nothing in common.
Hence the emergence of new techniques relevant to the knowledge of objects in the field of view of the various sciences;
6) a collapse of a «common sense» based on a restricted experience of a previous knowledge. More and more immersion to the field of paradoxical and sophisticated assertions and structures which contradict not only common sense but the whole reasonably understandable reality;
7) the tendencies to divide a studied object into simple structures and relations combined with a system analysis7.

These tendencies of changes in science caused the allocation of a communication knowledge system as an independent science. Today the «communicology» science is still being formed. That is why it is better to call it pre-science, but, from author’s opinion, it should not be seen as a scientific direction or a branch of any other science. No science (philosophy, sociology, economics and others) can form communicology as its scientific direction or a branch. The difference between pre-science and the direction in science or its branch that a scientific direction, though it may be thoroughly developed, will stay only a direction without a perspective to grow into a science. For example, such science fields as education sociology, mass psychology, economics of the electrotechnical industry will never grow into a science.

Even an extremely weak elaboration of sociology at some stage of its development has never deprived its ability to develop into a science8.

Genesis of a communicology method. In order to get a «communicology» institutionalized, it is necessary to define its method. «It became clear a long time ago, that a science requires not only a logical method to study internal formal connections inside of some relatively closed knowledge system, but, to wide extent, a research method, knowledge impulses to new results»9.

Communicology, as any other science, cannot restrict its research using only a logical method. Certainly, a forming science at the same time will apply an analytic method to reality phenomena, perform «fragmentation of them to component parts, a detailed examination of elements of a compound – a thing itself, a phenomenon or knowledge about them – this is a characteristic feature of a developing science».

«Really, the differentiation of a scientific knowledge is simultaneously followed by its integration.
This means not a unification of existing systems, not a peculiar summing up of knowledge, obtained by different sciences of an object of a great interest for a human being…, but an aspiration to adopt from each other both the methods and the language, in order to use them studying the object»10. Similarly, communicology will not avoid an adoption of methods and language from sciences and scientific directions, examining the communication as an object, and also from sciences «crossing» with communicology in its subject field.

Research of communicology. Communicology includes the research of the following: kinds of communication, functions of communicative systems and communication modules, basics of the intercultural communication process, research methods of the intercultural communication process in different social spheres (in management, business, education).

Communicology can’t ignore the problems of ethic, national, territorial, social difference of communicators and their personal characteristics; linguistic, psychological, psycho-linguistic, semiotic, semio-socio-psychological elements of a theory of intercultural communication.

The more perfect communicology is and the more fundamental laws are in its disposal – the more important the laws and regularities, theories and communication models are in a practice of communicative social scale activity. The research programs, concerning study of communication features in educational, industrial, political and other social spheres, providing information flows in modern society both at the intercultural and global level, increase in modern socio-cultural space, in which, in the words of Marshall McLuhan, «all the time and space are one». Within international projects, including vertical ones, the interaction features are studied for pupils and teachers, students and lectures in different cultures, communication styles in a lecture-room, nature of intercultural conflicts and methods to resolve them (for example, the project «Cultural Values»)11.

Uniformity principle in development of a terminology instrument of the science «communicology». While developing the terminology of communicology it follows to reduce a terminological P language to uniformity. No science can form and exist hereafter without a conceptionual instrument. «Conceptions always go very well with a part of the reality which is a subject of investigation. In other phenomenon spheres the conformity disappears»12.

Today the terminology of communicology should be viewed as a sphere of a constant production and self-production for new elements, fixing processes of inter-language, interdisciplinary, inter-subject and intra-subject communication (G.B. Gutner), its aspects, technologies being used, conceptions and models, newest history of communication development and its studying (V.B. Kashkin)13.

We should expect a constant and dynamic renewal of the terms in the field of theory and practice of communicology. In this connection the terminology considered in this book is characterized by a variety of conceptions. The basis for the development of communicological terminology are synonymous, polysemy and homonymy of terms. Nevertheless, as the authors V.I. Tuzlukova and V.V. Boguslavskaya affirm14, «the terminological unconformity is obvious not only in inter-subject, but also in intra-subject context, non-development or nonsufficient detail for certain terms in a special literature – scientific, methodological, artificial attachment of adapted (and sometimes not correctly interpreted) English-language terms to socio-cultural contexts and realities non-existent in today’s Russia».

Now, when the readers and future authors, whom I invite to a broad discussion of the noted scientific problem, get a clear idea of aims and tasks of our journal, there remains only to wish everyone success in the field of scientific knowledge in the rapidly emerging science «communicology», and, I hope, our journal will largely contribute to it.

Fair «scientific wind» to the journal!

1 http://jf.pu/ru/win/tekom-kontinyym.html.
2 M.B. Bergelson Joint Curriculums: Balance of Interests in the Intercultural Space. 
3 M.А. Vasilik. Actual Problems of the Communication Theory//Proceedings. – Saint-Petersburg. – Publishing House of the Saint-Petersburg State Pedagogical University, 2004. – pp. 4-11.
4 A.V. Sokolov. General Theory of Social Communication. – Saint-Petersburg: Publishing House of V.A.
Mikhailov, 2002. – p.449.
5 See.: Philosophy History: Encyclopedia. – Inter-press-service; Book House, 2002. – p. 662.
6 G.N. Volkov. Sociology of Science. Sociological Essays of a Scientific-Technical Activity. – Moscow: Politizdat, 1968 –241 p.
7 P.V. Kopnin. Dialectics, Logic, Science. – Moscow: Science, 1973. – p. 82-83.
8 P.V. Kopnin. Dialectics, Logic, Science. – Moscow: Science, 1973. – p. 84.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid., p. 101
12 V. Geizenberg. Physics and Philosophy. – Moscow, 1963. p.170
13 V.B. Kashkin. Introduction to the Communication Theory: Training manual. – Voronezh, 2000. p.175