The Politics of Contextualization in Communication Research: Examining the Discursive Strategies of Non-U.S. Research in Communication Journals

Michael Chan, Jingjing Yi, Panfeng Hu, Dmitry Kuznetsov


The ideological hegemony of an academic discipline can be reflected by the discursive strategies adopted by authors in their academic writing. We examined 509 non-U.S. studies across eight communication journals listed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) from 2000 to 2020 and coded for the prevalence of references to local (in-country), United States, and other country (out-country) contexts. The findings revealed a substantive amount of contextualization to U.S. concerns and literature among the journal articles and revealed how academic writing sustains the omnipresence of the United States in communication scholarship. If striving for greater international representation and diversity is a goal for the field, then actors involved in the production and dissemination of knowledge, including authors, reviewers, and editors, should engage in more reflexivity on the politics of contextualization and how academic writing not only can reinforce the status quo but also give more visibility to countries at the peripheries.


contextualization, writing, metadiscourse, ideological hegemony, periphery

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