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We have drawn on a considerable variety of perspectives, all of them framed by different questions and problems, to begin to make sense of the radical media phenomenon and potential. The journey we have undertaken has not led to a tightly wound, smooth conceptual conclusion. There are a number of rough edges and discontinuities, but perhaps that better corresponds to the messy nature of social being than a series of perfectly oiled axioms.

We will recapitulate them in a moment, but before we can do so, there is one dimension of current media theorizing that must first be addressed. It is the position, especially identified with an early phase of U.S. media research (Katz & Lazarsfeld, 1955; Klapper, 1960), that media are weak social agents. ...

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