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.

Mobile Privatization

Mobile privatization

Raymond Williams developed the concept of mobile privatization as part of his criticism of the failings of technological determinism and its role in accounts of media history. It plays a central role in his alternative social shaping account of the development of radio and television broadcasting. It was also developed as an explicit alternative to accounts of the power of the media that relied on the concept of ‘mass communication’ or ‘mass media’. As the components of its name suggest, however, it obviously has great potential relevance to ‘post-broadcasting’ media, particularly the mobile phone and other ICTs that facilitate mobility.

Williams’ own shorthand definition in Television (1974a) develops from his assessment of a kind of technology that ...

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