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.



Few concepts have left such a contested legacy as ‘ideology’. As critical Marxian terminology is again coming back into vogue after the ‘post-Marxisms’ of the 1980s and 1990s, it is important to recover its meanings with some care. There is considerable confusion surrounding this term so precision is important.

In brief, most of the ‘Marxism’ that many rejected in the 1980s and 1990s had little to do with Marx, just as much of what we understand as ‘communism’ can be separated from Marx's actual writings and political practice. Rather, what was rejected was a ‘Marxism’ constructed inside the communist movement, including, to a large extent, the highly influential work of the French communist Marxist Louis Althusser. ...

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