The Second Edition of this book provides a comprehensive overview of the ways in which social theory has attempted to theorize the importance of the media in contemporary society. Understanding Media Cultures is now fully revised and takes account of the recent theoretical developments associated with New Media and Information Society, as well as the audience and the public sphere.
What is the significance of media cultures today? The emergence of global forms of mass communication, as most would recognise, has reworked the experiential content of everyday life. But how important is the field of communications when compared with other fields of research? What is the relationship between the study of mass media and other aspects of social practice? How have different media of communication reshaped relations of time and space? Do media cultures reaffirm today's dominant social relations? What kinds of identities are currently being fostered by electronic communication? Who are the key thinkers of whom we should be aware in thinking about these issues? Here I hope to contribute towards our shared understanding of such questions, while broadly indicating the shape some ...