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`This is a wide-ranging and authoritative analysis of sociology's 'state-of-the-art'. It will set the terms of debate for the next decade' - John Urry, Lancaster University, U.K.`The profession of sociology was blessed by abundance of excellent handbooks. The one edited by Craig Calhoun, Christ Rojek and Bryan Turner was preceded by outstanding sociology handbooks, the most eminent ones by Robert Farris and E Lee published in 1964 and a more recent one by Neil Smelser in1988. The volume by Farris and Lee not only served as an introductory text to the discipline, but contained many innovative papers, which re-oriented social research for years to come. Smelser brought together the best possible and most polished overview of the contributions professional sociology at his time. The Calhoun-Rojek-Turner ...

The Sociology of Mediation and Communication
The sociology of mediation and communication
Introduction

Sociology has had a consistently paradoxical relationship with what we now call media and communication. While it is quite possible to see its early development, in the writings of Marx, Weber and Durkheim, as having been at least in part concerned with issues of communication and culture – ideology in Marx, collective representation in Durkheim, rationality and legitimation in Weber – it was not until the work of the American pragmatists and symbolic interactionists that communication, centring on interpersonal communication, came to be seen as a, if not the, central dimension of social life (McQuail, 1984).

In this early twentieth-century work communication was, essentially, a social psychological, possibly also a philosophical, term. It was seen ...

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