George Barnett

George Barnett Portrait

Position Title
Distinguished Professor Emeritus

155 Kerr Hall


  • Ph.D., Communication (concentration in Linguistics), Michigan State University, 1976
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1972
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1971


George Barnett has expertise in international and intercultural communication, and in social networking and other communication networks — notably, the roles of international telephone and Internet communications in social and economic development, cultural change, and the process of globalization. He has served as chair of the Communication and Technology Division of the International Communication Association, and as president of the International Network of Social Network Analysis.

Research Focus

Professor Barnett studies structural models of the role of communication in social and cultural processes. His numerous publications encompass analyses of social and cognitive system dynamics, and the ways in which social and communication networks evolve over time. He investigates the development of tools and methods for examination of cognitive, organizational, social, and communication networks; diffusion of communication and information technologies; and mathematical models of adoption and discontinuance of innovations.



Professor Barnett teaches CMN 139 (Advanced Organizational Communication), which is an introduction to communication systems analysis and a variety of graduate level courses. He has directed more than 40 doctoral dissertations and numerous masters theses.


  • Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award, International Communication Association, 2012
  • Top three Interactive Paper, International Communication Association, 2009
  • Top four in Peace and Conflict Communication, National Communication Association, 2007
  • Top three Interactive Paper, International Communication Association, 2006
  • Top paper, Conference Theme, International Communication Association, 2006