Lawrence Frey


Lawrence (Larry) R. Frey is a communication research fellow in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. He is also a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he teaches quantitative and qualitative methods, communication and human relations, and applied communication. His research seeks to understand how participation in collective communicative practices (especially by those who are marginalized and oppressed) makes a difference in people’s individual and communal lives, and how communication scholars can use their theories, methods, pedagogies, and other practices to promote social justice through communication activism research and teaching.

He is the author or editor of 17 books and more than 110 other publications, and he has received 20 distinguished awards, including, from the National Communication Association, the Gerald M. Phillips Award for (lifetime) Distinguished Applied Communication Scholarship, the Applied Communication Division’s Outstanding Scholarly Book Award (seven times), and the Group Communication Division’s Ernest Bormann Research (Book) Award (four times), as well as Ohio University’s School of Communication Studies’ Elizabeth G. Andersch Award (for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and mentoring). He is a past president of the Central States Communication Association, a member of its Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the organization’s Outstanding Young Teacher Award, as well as a recipient of the Master Teacher Award from the Communication and Instruction Interest Group of the Western States Communication Association.


Ph.D. Speech Communication, University of Kansas 1979

Research Interests

Applied Communication, Communication Activism for Social Justice, Communication and Community Studies, Communication Education, Group Communication


Frey, L. R., & Blinne, K. (in press). Activism and social justice. In M. Allen (Ed.), Sage encyclopedia of communication research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Frey, L. R., & Palmer, D. L. (in press). Communication activism pedagogy and research: Communication education scholarship to promote social justice. Communication Education.

Carragee, K. M., & Frey, L. R. (Eds.). (2016a). Communication activism research: Engaged communication scholarship for social justice [Special section]. International Journal of Communication, 10, 3975–4033. Retrieved from

Carragee, K. M., & Frey, L. R. (2016b). Communication activism research: Engaged communication scholarship for social justice. International Journal of Communication, 10, 3975–3999. Retrieved from

Frey, L. R., & Carragee, K. M. (2016). Seizing the social justice opportunity: Communication activism research at a politically critical juncture. International Journal of Communication, 10, 4027–4033. Retrieved from

Frey, L. R., & Castro, N. T. (2016). The inner researcher: Researchers’ emotions and identities. In A. Kurylo (Ed.), Negotiating group identity in the research process: Are you in or are you out? (pp. 143–167). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Frey, L. R. (2015). Celebrating and challenging Caribbean communication scholarship. Journal of Human Communication Studies in the Caribbean, 1(1), 140–155.

Palmer, D. L., & Frey, L. R. (2015). Fostering civic resilience and hope through communication activism education. In G. A. Beck & T. J. Socha (Eds.), Communicating hope and resilience across the lifespan (pp. 235–258). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Frey, L. R. (2014). Group communication. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The concise encyclopedia of communication (pp. 235–237). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Frey, L. R., & Palmer, D. L. (Eds.). (2014). Teaching communication activism: Communication education for social justice. New York, NY: Hampton Press.

Frey, L. R. (2012). Small-group communication. In P. Moy (Ed.), Oxford bibliographies online. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from

Frey, L. R., & Carragee, K. M. (Eds.). (2012). Communication activism: Vol. 3. Struggling for social justice amidst difference. New York, NY: Hampton Press.

Frey, L. R., & White, A. (2012). Promoting personal, interpersonal, and group growth through positive experiential encounter communication pedagogy. In T. J. Socha & M. J. Pitts (Eds.), The positive side of interpersonal communication (pp. 297–312). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Dempsey, S., Dutta, M., Frey, L. R., Goodall, H. L., Madison, D. S., Mercieca, J., & Nakayama, T (with Miller, K.). (2011). What is the role of the communication discipline in social justice, community engagement, and public scholarship? A visit to the CM Café. Communication Monographs, 78, 256–271. doi:10.1080/03637751.2011.565062

Frey, L. R. (2010). Sharing sexual fantasies. In C. Noland, J. Manning, & J. MacLennan (Eds.), Case studies in communication about sex (pp. 31–37). Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars.

Frey, L. R., & Konieczka, S. (2010). Group identity and identification. In R. L. Jackson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of identity (Vol. 1, pp. 316–319). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Expertise Areas