Volume 5, Issue 1 - April 2010Print | Email

Too Connected? The Paradox of Telework

 photo - teleworkerSmart phones, broadband Internet access, and teleconferencing software--these communication technologies are enabling people to work from anywhere, at anytime. Over the last two decades, traditional office workers have begun asking managers for more flexible work arrangements. Companies are increasingly willing to let employees work outside of the office because they are comfortable that with the use of all of these technologies teleworkers can be constantly connected and, consequently, are only ever a quick phone call, chat, or email away. However, for many teleworkers, escaping the reach of the office is exactly why they asked to work from elsewhere. The result is that teleworkers often face a paradox; that is, the connectivity that allows them to stay at a physical distance from the office undermines the very benefits of leaving it. Our research on the working practices of teleworkers across several industries revealed that, contrary to organizational expectations, many used communication technologies to decrease communication with co-workers and reclaim a feeling of distance from office life.
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Cross Current

Communicating About Health Care Reform

The health care debate has been discussed in many ways: public vs. private, big government vs. small government, freedom vs. tyranny, socialism vs. liberty, and change vs. choice. Effectively communicating about health care reform is essential as it is a predominant issue on both the presidential and congressional agendas. Unfortunately, 48% of the American public still reports being confused about health care reform. Too much time has been spent manipulating words to convince the public that specific policies are superior. Instead, policymakers should focus on clearly communicating main tenets of the plans and allowing citizens to decide for themselves.

photo - healthcarereformInformation about “rhetoric on health insurance reform” leads the White House webpage. President Barack Obama has acknowledged the importance of communicating about health care reform and has presented addresses on the issue to both Congress and the public. The Department of Health & Human Services has devoted a website to health care reform that provides links to specific pages on communicating about the issue.


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Communicators Speak

Communicators Speak

Communication scholars provide expertise across a wide range of topics. These audio interviews are short, informative, and represent the ongoing research in the field of communication.
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Communicating about Alzheimer's Disease

photo - Alzheimer'sRoughly 5.3 million United States citizens live with Alzheimer's disease, and diagnoses of the illness are expected to double in the next 20 years. As Alzheimer's statistics grow at alarming rates, family members and other caregivers often struggle to effectively communicate with and about Alzheimer's patients. Many of the metaphors used to describe the illness, its patients, and communication between patients and caregivers dehumanize people living with what is now the most common form of dementia. Effective Alzheimer's disease communication may significantly improve the quality of life for both Alzheimer's patients and the men and women who provide them with care.
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Deployments and Military Family Communication

photo - soldier and wifeMilitary families in the U.S. are experiencing frequent wartime deployments and other military-related separations that put a strain on their communication and relationships. These separations are stressful not only for military service members that deploy, but for the family members they leave behind, in particular military wives. The communication between military spouses before, during, and after deployment is affected in unique ways. We conducted in-depth interviews with 50 Army wives in order to better understand how deployments impact their interactions.
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Perceptions of Asian American Students: Stereotypes and Effects

Stereotypes are preconceived overgeneralizations about a group, without regard to individual uniqueness. Racial-ethnic stereotypes, include characterizations of communication and social skills, are often constructed and perpetuated by the media. For example, Asian Americans are traditionally underrepresented in the media and misrepresented with stereotypes, such as the model minority stereotype, the poor communicator or nerd stereotype, and the foreigner stereotype. Cultivation theory suggests that media-activated racial-ethnic stereotypes affect people's perceptions about the stereotyped groups. It is important to investigate if college students' perceptions of Asian Americans are consistent with the media stereotypes because these stereotypes could affect their interactions with Asian American peers.
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Home Page | The Communicative Power of The Checklist | Check Yourself: Improving Health Care and Performance | Too Connected? The Paradox of Telework | Communicating About Health Care Reform | Communicators Speak | Communicating about Alzheimer's Disease  | Deployments and Military Family Communication | Perceptions of Asian American Students: Stereotypes and Effects 
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