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 sense of the term ‘audience’ that has traditionally concerned communications and media studies is that of the mass audience.

At a minimum, the mass audience is typically defined as the indeterminate group(s) to which mass communications are addressed. The membership of such groups is delimited to those who are within range of a media performance. Here a question arises as to whether the audience is defined as those who are actually listening or viewing or those who are within range of it. Marshall McLuhan's claim that electronic media (be they visual or sonic) are consumed according to an ‘aural’ logic rather than a visual one is significant here, as it ...

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