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.



Ritual communication and the redefinition of ‘ritual’ in relation to ‘media’ have opened up as a new branch of study in recent years. At least some of the impetus for the turn to ritual is frustration with the repetitive orthodoxy of ‘effects analysis’ and the transmission model of communication. Apart from anthropology (Ginsburg, 2005; Rothenbuhler and Coman, 2005), however, the analysis of media ritual struggles to find a paradigmatic home. Part of this quandary is that media rituals are seen to be qualitatively different from communal rituals, the focus of anthropological study, or those that characterize modern festivals.

An interesting forerunner to the discussion of media rituals can be found in Walter Benjamin's essay ‘The work of ...

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