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.



‘Simulacra’ is a concept popularized in the work of sociologist and media theorist Jean Baudrillard. The plural of simulation, simulacra refers to the vast field of signs and sign objects that have become separated from their referents. Thus, simulation is not the same as a copy. Rather, it is the copy of a copy, the circulated meaning of which does not rest on an original signified object.

The signs that constitute simulacra do not conform to a logic of representation, nor do they measure up to the real – they are their own reality or ‘hyperreality’.

An Anthropology of the Sign

Baudrillard's concept, which erases the distinction between surface and depth, is frequently cited as central to ...

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