This book covers the key concepts central to understanding recent developments in media and communications studies. Wide-ranging in scope and accessible in style it sets out a useful, clear map of the important theories, methods, and debates.

The entries critically explore the limits of a key concept as much as the traditions that define it. They include clear definitions, are introduced within the wider context of the field and each one is fully cross-referenced, is clearly illustrated with relevant examples, and provides a guide to further reading and an index.

This book is an essential resource for students in media and communications and for those studying sociology, cultural sociology, cultural studies, and sociology of media.



‘Articulation’ might be thought of as a conceptual ‘Holy Grail’ in media studies. It is one of the most difficult and elusive terms addressed by this book. This entry relies more than others on familiarity with some of the other key concepts. As the concept has also been much misunderstood, we have dealt with it in greater detail.

Variants of its usage share a common broad purpose: to account for the relationship between ‘media’ and their social context without reducing one to the other. There have been two linked ‘waves’ of application of the term in media and communications:

  • in the work of Stuart Hall and Birmingham cultural studies (and its revival within critical discourse analysis)
  • in the more ...
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