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.

Information Society

Information society

Variants of the information society thesis have been in development since the 1950s and have come to figure in theories of governmentality, postmodernism and the culture industry. Initially taking the form of Daniel Bell's ‘post-industrial’ society thesis, the rise in information technology and digitally convergent technologies encouraged a shift in the central term of reference from ‘post-industrial’ to ‘information’. In Bell's initial formulation, ‘knowledge workers’ were the new characteristic feature of the post-industrial era.

The success of these terms is analogous to McLuhan's ‘media’, in that their circulation extends well beyond the academy and has entered business, administrative and political policymaking parlance. ‘Information economy’, for example, is a phrase used within the (re)naming of ...

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