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.



Two primary conditions often cited for the emergence of mass society – or, more commonly, ‘the masses’ – are the rapid urbanization processes driven by industrialization, together with the emergence of mass communications systems used to integrate large-scale massing of populations.

Epitomized by Charlie Chaplin's 1936 film Modern Times, a key moment in which the forces of industrial modernity and mass media converged was that following the Great Crash of 1929. The mass armies of the unemployed, concentrated in the crowded conditions of the metropolis, were introduced to the mass mediums of radio and cinema which, together with cheaper newsprint, magazines and books, offered, in different ways, a means of social integration.

Although they had nineteenth-century ...

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