Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice
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Media are fundamental to our sense of living in a social world. Since the beginning of modernity, media have transformed the scale on which we act as social beings. And now in the era of digital media, media themselves are being transformed as platforms, content, and producers multiply.
Yet the implications of social theory for understanding media and of media for rethinking social theory have been neglected; never before has it been more important to understand those implications. This book takes on this challenge.
Drawing on Couldry's fifteen years of work on media and social theory, this book explores how questions of power and ritual, capital and social order, and the conduct of political struggle, professional competition, and everyday life, are all transformed by today's complex combinations of traditional and 'new' media. In the concluding chapters Couldry develops a framework for global comparative research into media and for thinking collectively about the ethics and justice of our lives with media. The result is a book that is both a major intervention in the field and required reading for all students of media and sociology.
Communication 53(4): 642–57. Matewa, C. (2010) ‘Participatory Video as an Empowerment Tool for Social Change’, in C. Rodriguez, D. Kidd and L. Stein (eds), Making Our Media, vol. I. Creskill, NJ: The Hampton Press, pp. 115–30. Matheson, D. (2004) ‘Weblogs and the Epistemology of the News: Some Trends in Online Journalism’, New Media & Society 6(4): 443–68. Mattelart, A. (1994) The Invention of Communication. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota press. Mattelart, A. (2000) Networking the World
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political decision-making. The Icelandic government’s 2011 online consultation about a new constitution is perhaps the first practical application of Noveck’s proposals, albeit in a country of 320,000 people.74 Then there are new kinds of individual political actor: no longer just the charismatic party or strike leader, or the authorized commentator on mainstream politics (journalists), or the silent party member or demonstrator, but the individual – without any initial store of political
term is perfectly compatible with field theory which insists upon paying attention to the ‘logics’ or workings of specific fields. A few years ago, I attached the term ‘mediation’ to a similar understanding of media’s influence on social order.22 Mediatization, in this sense, points to the changed dimensionality of the social world in a media age. Through the concept of mediatization, we acknowledge media as an irreducible dimension of all social processes. Let’s leave to one side the debate
nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Europe: institutional contexts and associations for reading; new cultural conventions; the increased leisure time of the growing bourgeoisie; even the increased availability in the home of light after sunset.51 An accelerator in the ‘internet revolution’ has been the ability of not just content but software (in other words, infrastructure) to be distributed through the same medium. The book was a great leap forward in disseminating innovation, since