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Roger Silverstone

In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociology

Chapter 11: The Sociology of Mediation and Communication

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

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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