Center for the Study of Communication and Society


Welcome to CSCS! Established in 2004 by Michael Silverstein, Susan Gal, Andreas Glaeser, and Lisa Wedeen, the Center for the Study of Communication and Society’s mission is to apply interpretive social scientific and especially semiotic and linguistic approaches to the study of communication. CSCS promotes inquiries into the social and political processes through which ideas, information, and beliefs are produced, disseminated, and received in diverse organizational and geographical contexts. Its affiliated faculty and students conduct research on issues such as the meaning and effects of political rhetoric and symbols; the relationship between secrecy and publicity in various political regimes; the routes through which sanctioned and unsanctioned ideas and information circulate; the legal and political contexts in which communication occurs; shifting formulations of public/world opinion; cultures and institutions of journalism; news as a genre and social force; national and transnational dimensions of mass media audiences; and the technological and economic transformation of media and media industries in the twenty-first century. By drawing on the resources of a range of disciplines and schools across the University of Chicago (Anthropology, Linguistics, Political Science, Sociology), CSCS seeks to develop new interpretive and critical approaches to understanding and solving problems related to communication and society.