Charting the Terrain of Interpersonal Communication and the Landscape of Social Interaction: Traditions, Challenges, and Trajectories

Deborah Borisoff, David T. McMahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An updated version of a chapter originally appearing in A Century of Transformation: Studies in Honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Eastern Communication Association, this piece examines the history and continued development of interpersonal communication. We begin by examining the progression of interpersonal communication from the 1920s through the 1980s. We then explore contemporary trends in interpersonal communication since the 1990s. Finally, we consider the challenges and future trajectories of interpersonal communication as it continues to develop and transform. We identify major aspects of research and how they are informed by identity and raise critical challenges to studying interpersonal communication. We end by exploring how transformations in technology are inexorably connected to our understanding and valuing interaction with others, and identify emerging areas of inquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-231
Number of pages21
JournalAtlantic Journal of Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 8 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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