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.



Variants of ‘popular’, such as ‘popular media’ and ‘popular culture’, remain key categories within media and communications, but they have functioned less as concepts than as terms guiding ordinary language. So, the usage of ‘popular’ is closer to the original sense of what Raymond Williams called keywords than the contemporary notion of key concepts. Its shifting and contested meanings indicate a field of discussion rather than conceptual precision.

In contrast, populist has developed a more systematic – if also contested – sense within the work of Ernesto Laclau, Stuart Hall and Jim McGuigan. Indeed, to a large extent, the emergence of ‘populist’ as a concept is closely tied to attempts to overcome ...

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