• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Significant changes are occurring in the social spaces of modern cities and the social functioning of media. This erudite, forceful book argues that the spaces and rhythms of contemporary cities are radically different to those described in classic theories of urbanism. Changes in the city have been paralleled by the transformation of media which has become increasingly mobile, instantaneous and pervasive. The media are no longer separate from the city. Offering social commentary at the deepest levels of historical and critical reference, The Media City links Myspace to Howard Hughes; trams to cinema; security cameras to exploding buildings; reality TV to Marx; and Lenin on privacy to Kracauer on the mass ornament.

Wide-ranging and richly illustrated, it intersects disciplines and connects phenomena which are too often left isolated from each other to propose a new way of understanding public and private space and social life in contemporary cities. It will find a broad readership in media and communications, cultural studies, social theory, urban sociology, architecture, and art history.


In this book, I have traced the emergence of a distinctive lived environment: the media city. This passage has crossed a number of historical thresholds involving the relation between media technologies and the transformation of the city. In the mid-19th century the invention of technological images lent the first urban modernization projects their most decisive technique for ‘mapping’ the new urban space. Marville's serial photography paralleled Haussmann's reconstruction of Paris, as both media and social space were submitted to the industrial logic of enhanced circulation. The reconstitution of social life by the extension of market relations and the emergence of urban spectacle counterpointed the growing apprehension of the city as a territory of images. Where the late-19th-century urban dweller might have bought a postcard ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles