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.



‘Criticism’ and ‘critique’ are two terms encapsulating taken-for-granted assumptions that communications and media studies inherited from their informing disciplines and related debates. Contenders for a list of these informing fields would be literary criticism (now more commonly called literary studies), the debate over whether or not any of the social sciences could be critical as well as ‘objective’ and understandings of critique from philosophy. In short, the terms’ history has been shaped by continuing debates about the relationship between the methods used to research aspects of media and communications and the judgement of those aspects.

A good measure of the tremendous shifts these words have undergone in English is the increasing ...

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