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.



Interactivity has almost turned into a dull buzzword. The term is so inflated now that one begins to suspect that there is much less to it than some people want to make it appear. No company would fail to claim that it is keen on feedback. No leader would fail to praise the arrival of a new communication era. Apparently interactivity has hardly any threatening meaning for the elites. (Schultz, 2000: 205) Typically defined simply as ‘two-way’ communication, ‘interactivity’ has recently appeared as both a buzzword and a fraught concept within communication theory. For early information theorists (such as Shannon and Weaver, 1949), interactivity denoted two-way communication between humans, animals or machines, but, today, it has become ...

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