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 historical emergence of the concept of ‘technoculture’ in the last half of the twentieth century marks a distinct shift in the relationship between technology and society, culture and nature. The development, during this period, of technologies of a qualitatively different character from those associated with modernity, has deeply problematized the widespread instrumental view that technology is a central index of moral improvement (Carey, 1989).

The advance of nuclear, cybernetic, DNA, gene-splicing, information and nanotechnologies into the daily lives of individuals in technological societies becomes central to the definition of those societies. Thus, technological historicism – the idea that there are one or two technologies that characterize a social period, such as ‘the steam age’, ...

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