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.



The idea that we live in a ‘digital age’ is frequently asserted and rarely contested, reflecting the epochalism to which communications technologies are so often tied. Digital formats for the storage and circulation of information have quickly become the basic standard across computing, media and telecommunications. Some argue that digitalization is the basis for media convergence, while others see the digital platform as the basis for interoperability between discrete kinds of media, by enabling a common language (Jenkins, 2006a, 2006b; Kittler, 1997).

Unlike analogue information, which is based on an analogy corresponding to the world (such as when light falls on film), digital data exists in a parallel binary language that always needs to be converted from and to ...

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