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Oct. 27, 2014

Perloff receives international award

By Jaychelle Willis

Professor Richard PerloffThe Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) recently awarded Professor Richard Perloff’s article "Progress, paradigms, and a discipline engaged: A response to Lang and reflections on media effects research" as the winner of the 2013 McQuail Award.

The McQuail Award is given annually to the best article advancing communication theory published in a peer-reviewed journal in the previous year. It is named after Dennis McQuail, a former communication theorist. McQuail was professor of communication at ASCoR.

Perloff is a long-time faculty member of the School of Communication at Cleveland State University, spanning over 35 years. He is one of the top scholars of Persuasion and Political Communication in the world. His works in the area of Third-Person Effect were path-breaking. He is the author of many academic books, including the recently published "The Dynamics of Political Communication: Media and Politics in a Digital Age."

Perloff said he is honored to be recognized for his work by ASCoR.

“One of the things I really value is doing theoretical articles,” Perloff said. “It’s gratifying because it tells you something that you thought was a nice piece was received positively by others.”

In his article, Perloff argues the roles of theory in Mass Communication. The article takes issue with, Indiana University Telecommunications professor, Annie Lang’s argument that the field of Mass Communication faces a Kuhnian crises. Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of Science, had argued that knowledge advances by overcoming periods of crisis in theory through "paradigm shifts," which he also described was a way to understand scientific revolutions.

Perloff asserts that the field is not in crisis, but has made impressive strides in answering media effects questions and explaining influences of media on different levels. In the article, Perloff argues “the present mass media effects textbooks acknowledge that the media are only one of many influences on social behavior.”

“He is one of our most prolific faculty members,” George Ray, director and professor of the School of Communication said. “He’s a fine scholar and it is great that his work is being recognized," he said, taking note of Perloff's achievements.

The award entails an invitation to ASCoR to give the McQuail Lecture on Friday Nov. 21, as well as an invitation to become ASCoR Honorary Fellow for one year.

“The award is evident of the high quality of his work and international reputation that he has gained as a theorist in political communication,” said Gregory Sadlek, dean of College of Liberal Arts and Social Science.