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.
The Three Paradigms of Mass Communication Research
The legacy of media theory provides social theorists with complex perspectives on media practice. The current explosion of new technologies and rapid globalisation of media cultures makes such concerns increasingly relevant. As most of the writers under review accept, the exchange of media impressions now forms a permanent backdrop to the early twenty-first century. Whether we live our lives permanently in the village where we were born or restlessly travelling the globe, media cultures are almost certainly present. They provide the microscopic web that weaves together the patchwork we call globalisation. More modestly, they help to carve out, sustain and occasionally transform transnational, national, regional and local identities. The noisy flux of cultures that technologies of communication help ...