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.



Communication and communications are so often conflated as objects of study, but they are historically distinguished methodologically and disciplinarily. That separation is hard to discern today, however.

The study of communication was often confined to interpersonal, organizational or linguistic forms of interaction, whereas communications opened more explicitly onto a vast field of means of communication, technologies, mediums and their architectures, as well as the relationship between a communication medium and the messages that circulate within it. Consequently, communication research faced the risk of being framed as administrative research (see media effects; criticism/critique) whereas communications tended to more readily open up critical cultural and sociological research into media technologies, environments, policies and institutions.

Often allied to ...

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