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Division and Interest Groups: Enhancing your membership experience



Divisions and Interest Groups are a great way to customize your membership experience based on your personal topic area(s) of interest. Joining a Division or Interest Group affords you increased potential to network with colleagues of similar interest. You will receive field-specific calls for papers, newsletters or special announcements disseminated by section leaders. Each function autonomously and conduct business meetings in conjunction with our annual conference. Most offer awards for various scholastic achievements such as best paper, or best research by a young scholar. We recommend joining at least one section to augment your ICA membership.


What is the difference between Divisions and Interest Groups?

ICA Interest Groups demonstrate an emerging scholarly interest in their topic area. ICA Divisions originate as Interest Groups and demonstrate an ongoing scholarly interest in their topic area.  

How do I join?

It is easy to join! Simply add your desired Division (s)/Interest Group(s) to your cart during the renewal process and pay the fee to join. Need help? Contact Kristine Rosa at  

What is the cost to join an ICA Division or Interest Group?

Group dues generally range from US$3-$6.

What are the topic areas covered by ICA’s Division and Interest Groups?


The Children, Adolescents, and the Media (CAM) division strives to be a fruitful intellectual forum for academics from all over the world who study the role of media in the lives of children and young people. It aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas among scholars of different backgrounds and disciplinary orientations, informed by a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches.

 The Communication and Technology (CAT) Division focuses on original scientific research about the roles played by information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the processes of human communication. CAT seeks to enhance theory and methodology pertaining to adoption, usage, message content, communication networks, effects, and policy of ICTs.

Communication History Division (CHD) promotes theory, research, and professional education in the history of communication. CHD brings together scholars who face similar intellectual and methodological challenges.History is one of the most well-established themes in the study of communication. Recent years have witnessed an intensification of this interest in history.

The Communication Law and Policy Division is interested in research and analysis of law, regulation, and policy that deals with information, communication, and culture. Defining policy broadly, the division includes within its purview: principles that should or do underlie law and regulation, proposals for new law and regulation, and the programs and institutions through which policy is implemented. 

The Environmental Communication Division aims to advance research on the interplay of the environment with any level of communication and in any setting. Research on health, risk, and science communication issues related to the environment are especially germane. The group welcomes work from any perspective (including critical, cultural, ethnic/minority, feminist) employing any research method motivated by sound research questions about environmental communication.

The Ethnicity and Race in Communication Division is concerned with methodological approaches and research that apply, extend or develop communication theory and analysis through an examination of race and ethnicity within local, international and transnational contexts. The division also works to advocate for the improved status, representation and opportunities for underrepresented scholars in communication.

Feminist Scholarship is interested in exploring the relationship of gender and communication, both mediated and non-mediated, within a context of feminist theories, methodologies, and practices. The Division explores issues such as feminist teaching; international commonalities and differences by race, class and gender; women's alternative media; and feminist cultural studies.

The Game Studies Division focuses on how the study of games and the game experience offers opportunities for the study of human communication that involve multidisciplinary approaches that merge the disciplines of conventional communication studies and research, arts and visual design, cognitive studies, computer sciences, cultural studies, engineering social sciences, health sciences, & information design. The group serves as fertile meeting ground for the exchange of ideas among a very broad spectrum of disciplines.

The Division for Global Communication and Social Change exists to encourage and debate research on issues of production, distribution, content and reception of communications media at global, "glocal", transnational, transcultural, international and regional levels. Within this purview it encompasses work across a wide variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, concerning issues of media/mediated communication in cultural, economic, political or social contexts.

Health Communication's primarily concerned with the role of communication theory, research and practice in health promotion and health care. Areas of research include provider-patient interaction, social support networks, health information systems, medical ethics, health policy and health promotion. The Division's goals are to encourage theory development, research and effective practice of health communication.

Information Systems is concerned with information, language and cognitive systems. Its central goal is promoting the development of general theories of complex systems and quantitative methodologies for communication research variety of domains. This focus brings together people with a wide range of interests and specialties.

Instructional & Developmental Communication's mission focuses on the importance of creating environments that are conducive for learning via the use of effective behaviors. Because instructional communication occurs in a variety of contexts, the division promotes the study of communication variables, utilizing various methodologies, and theory, from diverse paradigms, in the instructional process (e.g., teacher-student interaction, instructional technology, optimal methods of information dissemination, information literacy).

Intercultural Communication is primarily concerned with theory and practice of communication between and among different cultures of the world; with comparisons of different communication systems in different cultural, national or ethnic groups; with other aspects of international communication, and with the relationship between communication and national development.

The Interpersonal Communication Division is interested in communication processes that occur between people. Such processes include (but are not limited to) mutual influence, individuals' aptations to others, people's interpretations and reactions to others' messages, and so forth. Interpersonal communication occurs in many contexts, such as close relationships, organizations, health, intercultural, intergroup, and many others. 

The Journalism Studies Division is concerned with journalism theory, journalism research, and professional education in journalism. The division invites a wide array of theoretical, epistemological and methodological approaches, all of which are united around an interest in journalism and share the aim of enhancing existing understandings of how journalism works, across temporal and geographic contexts.

Language and Social Interaction is concerned with exploring details of human discourse and human interaction. The Division sponsors research in language theory, linguistics, pragmatics, semiotics, sociolinguistics, ethnography of speaking, conversation analysis and related approaches to human social interaction. The primary focus is in interpersonal and group settings, face-to-face or mediated by telephone and computer.

Mass Communication is primarily concerned with the differential impact of messages transmitted by various mass media, including international exchanges through mass media. The division members promote systematic study of communication presented through the electronic, cinematic and print media. Members participate in developing theory, examination of the processes and effects of mass communication and development and evaluation of policy relevant to mass communication.

Organizational Communication members seek to expand our understanding of the processes, prospects, and challenges of communicating and organizing in a global society. Our scholarship articulates concepts and theories to better understand these processes, develop the tools needed to investigate them, and helps to implement the social practices to improve them.

Philosophy, Theory and Critique is broadly concerned with critical thinking that cuts across the various boundaries within the study of communication and its intersections with other modes of studying human interaction. The Division offers a lively forum for contemporary ideas in the study of media and communication.

Political Communication is concerned with the interplay of communication and politics, including the transactions that occur among citizens, between citizens and their governments, and among officials within governments. The plurality of this substantive focus is similarly reflected in the rich variance of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations of Division members.

Popular Communication is concerned with providing a forum for scholarly investigation, analysis, and dialogue among communication researchers interested in a wide variety of communication symbols, forms, phenomena and strategic systems of symbols within the context of contemporary popular culture.

Public Relations focuses on the theory and practice of communication between organizations and specified publics. Members are concerned with developing a greater understanding of the theoretic basis for effective communication through both laboratory and practice of communication between organizations and specified publics. At the same time the Division is concerned with the application of theoretic advances for the solution of pragmatic public relations problems.

Visual Communication Studies seeks to enhance the understanding of the visual in all its forms -- moving and still images and displays in television, video and film, art and design, and print and digital media. The Division sponsors research in creation, processing, function, meaning, and critical consequences of visual representation. The Division reaches beyond content to assure visual analyses are grounded solidly in visual theory and methodology.


The Activism Communication, and Social Justice (ACSJ) Interest Group promotes research and teaching the intersections of theree key aspecs of contemporary life as captured in its name.  It strives for diversity in the representation of its membership and embraces pluralism and boldness in theory and methodology.  It pushes the boundaries between theory and practice and between scholarship and activism by encouraging and facilitating dialogues and engagements. 

The Communication Science and Biology Interest Group promotes scientific research with relevance for the study of human communication, broadly defined, including biological perspectives such as psychophysiology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral genetics, animal studies, and evolutionary psychology.

The Computational Methods Interest Group focuses on the methods of computational social science (see, for example, Lazar et al., 2009; Watts, 2014) used in communication research. In particular, computational methods cover computerized tools and algorithms for collecting, processing, analyzing, and visualizing online data from social media (e.g., BBSs, blogs, microblogs, online social networks, photo-/video sharing sites, etc.). As such, the group distinguishes from other divisions/groups of ICA (e.g., Communication

The Human-Machine Communication Interest Group supports and promotes scholarship regarding communication between people and technologies designed to enact the role of communicator (i.e., artificial intelligence, robots, digital assistants, smart and IOT devices). HMC encompasses research within Human-Computer Interaction, Human-Robot Interaction, and Human-Agent Interaction and related areas of study focused on how people make sense of machines as communicators; the implications of people’s interactions with communicative technology for individuals, organizations, and society; and the philosophical and critical critique of the design of these technologies and their integration into daily life.

The Intergroup Communication Interest Group provides a home for quantitative and qualitative approaches to intergroup communication phenomena. We welcome perspectives from social psychology, sociology, sociolinguistics, and political science with an aim to providing an exciting interdisciplinary niche for intergroup communication.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Studies is concerned with the analysis and critique of sexual systems, discourses and representations, particularly those which animate, inform and impinge upon the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Such systems and discourses occur in institutional, community, domestic and intimate contexts, are closely connected to other social and cultural practices, and play a critical role in the formation and communication of individual and group identity.

The Media Industry Studies Interest Group (ICAMIS) exists to promote research and teaching practice on the history, organization, structure, economics, management, production processes and cultural forms, and the societal impact of media industries from a variety of theoretical, empirical, and cultural perspectives. The Media Industry Studies Interest Group serves as a place for collaboration and scholarly engagement for academics in a range of fields.

The Mobile Communication Interest Group focuses on the phenomenon of mobility in communication – thus being placed on the intersection of mobility, technology, and culture in human communication. While including a wide array of perspectives and approaches in communication scholarship, the common ground of the Interest Group is state of the art theorizing on mobile communication as well as the discussion of adequate methodology to do so.

The Public Diplomacy Interest Group provides a forum for the scholars investigating topics related to public diplomacy, nation branding, country image and reputation, public relations for and of nations, as well as political, and global and intercultural communication that influences international relations.

The Sport Communication Interest Group studies how communication processes influence sport as well as how sport influences communication processes. Work from all methodologies and epistemological views are welcomed.