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.



The term ‘tabloid’ derives from ‘tablet’ and referred to the practice of printing certain kinds of popular newspapers in the tabloid format as opposed to the ‘broadsheet’ format used by the ‘quality press’; a tabloid was initially half a broadsheet. Today, the distinction has outlived the term's origin as many broadsheets have adopted the tabloid format and the tabloid v. quality distinction has been applied across all post-print media.

Some source the ‘tablet’ metaphor to compound medicines of the late nineteenth century (Ray, 2006), others to the shape of inscribed stone tablets. The mere format distinction today resembles the ‘portrait v. landscape’ opposition in page-formatting options in software programs and ...

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