Discovering Communication Paradigms with Q Methodology: Ferment or Sour Grapes?
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 7 - Issue 4 p. 115- 130
Kuhn's concept of paradigm has led to widespread commentary and recapitulation in communication theory, but to no empirical treatment due to the absence of appropriate methodology. A Q-methodological solution is proposed using statements from Bronowski's The Ascent of Man and administered in a Q sort to members of the editorial board of the Journai of Communication, resulting in four factors: The absolutists who believe in a value-free science capable of achieving true knowledge, the scholastics who strive for an encyclopedic synthesis, the oneworlders who accept error as axiomatic, and the Aristotelians who advocate analytic classification and clarification; a second-order factor of fallibilism is shown to underlie the latter three. Discussion centers on the subjectivities which the factors represent as guides to the communication field.