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Misunderstanding The Internet

Author: James Curran
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317443519
Size: 28.45 MB
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The growth of the internet has been spectacular. There are now more than 3 billion internet users across the globe, some 40 per cent of the world’s population. The internet’s meteoric rise is a phenomenon of enormous significance for the economic, political and social life of contemporary societies. However, much popular and academic writing about the internet continues to take a celebratory view, assuming that the internet’s potential will be realised in essentially positive and transformative ways. This was especially true in the euphoric moment of the mid-1990s, when many commentators wrote about the internet with awe and wonderment. While this moment may be over, its underlying technocentrism – the belief that technology determines outcomes – lingers on and, with it, a failure to understand the internet in its social, economic and political contexts. Misunderstanding the Internet is a short introduction, encompassing the history, sociology, politics and economics of the internet and its impact on society. This expanded and updated second edition is a polemical, sociologically and historically informed guide to the key claims that have been made about the online world. It aims to challenge both popular myths and existing academic orthodoxies that surround the internet.

Misunderstanding News Audiences

Author: Eiri Elvestad
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315444348
Size: 36.75 MB
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Misunderstanding News Audiences interrogates the prevailing myths around the impact of the Internet and social media on news consumption and democracy. The book draws on a broad range of comparative research into audience engagement with news, across different geographic regions, to provide insight into the experience of news audiences in the twenty-first century. From its inception, it was imagined that the Internet would benignly transform the nature of news media and its consumers. There were predictions that it would, for example, break up news oligarchies, improve plurality and diversity through news personalisation, create genuine social solidarity online, and increase political awareness and participation among citizens. However, this book finds that, while mainstream news media is still the major source of news, the new media environment appears to lead to greater polarisation between news junkies and news avoiders, and to greater political polarisation. The authors also argue that the dominant role of the USA in the field of news audience research has created myths about a global news audience, which obscures the importance of national context as a major explanation for news exposure differences. Misunderstanding News Audiences presents an important analysis of findings from recent audience studies and, in doing so, encourages readers to re-evaluate popular beliefs about the influence of the Internet on news consumption and democracy in the West.

Mis Understanding Political Participation

Author: Jeffrey Wimmer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317217411
Size: 78.58 MB
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The practices of participation and engagement are characterised by complexities and contradictions. All celebratory examples of uses of social media, e.g. in the Arab spring, the Occupy movement or in recent LGBTQ protests, are deeply rooted in human practices. Because of this connection, every case of mediated participation should be perceived as highly contextual and cannot be attributed to one (social) specific media logic, necessitating detailed empirical studies to investigate the different contexts of political and civic engagement. In this volume, the theoretical chapters discuss analytical frameworks that can enrich our understanding of current contexts and practices of mediated participation. The empirical studies explore the implications of the new digital conditions for the ways in which digitally mediated social interactions, practices and environments shape everyday participation, engagement or protest and their subjective as well societal meaning.

Internet And Society

Author: Christian Fuchs
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135898820
Size: 13.44 MB
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In this exceptional study, Christian Fuchs discusses how the internet has transformed the lives of human beings and social relationships in contemporary society. By outlining a social theory of the internet and the information society, he demonstrates how the ecological, economic, political, and cultural systems of contemporary society have been transformed by new ICTs. Fuchs highlights how new forms of cooperation and competition are advanced and supported by the internet in subsystems of society and also discusses opportunities and risks of the information society.

The Contradictions Of Media Power

Author: Des Freedman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1849666105
Size: 43.28 MB
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Media power is a crucial, although often taken for granted, concept. We assume, for example, that the media are 'powerful'; if they were not, why would there be so many controversies over the regulation, control and impact of communicative institutions and processes? Further, we assume that this 'power' is somehow problematic; audiences are often treated as highly susceptible to media influence and too much 'power' in the hands of one organization or individual is seen as risky and potentially dangerous. These concerns have been at the heart of recent controversies involving the relationships between media moguls and political elites, the consequences of phone hacking in the UK, and the emerging influence of social media as vital gatekeepers. Yet it is still not clear what we mean by media power or how effective it is. This book evaluates contrasting definitions of media power and looks at the key sites in which power is negotiated, concentrated and resisted - politically, technologically and economically. Combining an evaluation of both previous literature and new research, the book seeks to establish an understanding of media power which does justice to the complexities and contradictions of the contemporary social world. It will be important reading for undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and activists alike.

Promotional Cultures

Author: Aeron Davis
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 0745639836
Size: 45.25 MB
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'Aeron Davis ranges far and wide in media and cultural studies and beyond to bring us this erudite and thoughtful book on what "promotional culture" means in economics, politics, civil society and celebrity culture. Ecumenical, yet retaining a sharp critical edge, this is the best single account of promotional culture I have seen.' David Miller, "University of Bath" 'Drawing on a range of critical intellectual traditions in the study of production, consumption, culture and fiance, Davis discusses the rise and penetration of digital-age promotional industries in the service of capitalist commodification. His study will give readers grounding in the theories and debates that dissect the social relations, culture and dialectics of commodity production and the management of consumerism.' Gerald Sussman, "Portland State University" '"Promotional Cultures" is a wide-ranging and accessible examination of the different advertising, ownership synergy, public relations and other marketing and promotional forces in our lives. Aeron Davis usefully examines different intellectual traditions that have sought to understand and critique promotional ethos and practices. He also applies these traditions and his own insights to areas in which large-scale promotion is systemic, including activism, media and finance.' Matthew P. McAllister, "Penn State University" 'In another seminal effort to rethink media and communicative power, Aeron Davis dispenses with the idea that the promotional industries are essential to the well-being of markets, democracy, independent media and our own lives.' Dwayne Winseck, "Carleton University" In the twenty-first century, promotion is everywhere and everything has become promotable: everyday goods and organizations, people and ideas, cultures and futures. This engaging book looks at the rise of advertising, public relations, branding, marketing and lobbying, and explores where our promotional times have taken us. "Promotional Cultures" documents how the professions and practices of promotion have interacted with and reshaped so much in our world, from commodities, celebrities and popular culture to politics, markets and civil society. It offers a mix of historical accounts, social theory and documented case studies, including haute couture fashion, Apple Inc., Hollywood film, Jennifer Lopez, the Occupy movement, Barack Obama's election campaigns, news production and the 2008 financial crisis. Together, these show how promotional culture may be recorded, understood and interpreted. "Promotional Cultures" will appeal to students and scholars of media and culture, sociology, politics, anthropology, and social and industrial history.

Beyond Misunderstanding

Author: Kristin Bührig
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 9027253870
Size: 61.98 MB
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This book challenges two tacit presumptions in the field of intercultural communication research. Firstly, misunderstandings can frequently be found in intercultural communication, although, one could not claim that intercultural communication is constituted by misunderstandings alone. This volume shows how new perspectives on linguistic analyses of intercultural communication go beyond the analysis of misunderstanding. Secondly, intercultural communication is not solely constituted by the fact that individuals from different cultural groups interact. Each contribution of this volume analyses to what extent instances of discourse are institutionally and/or interculturally determined. These linguistic reflections involve different theoretical frameworks, e.g. functional grammar, systemic functional linguistics, functional pragmatics, rhetorical conversation analysis, ethno-methodological conversation analysis, linguistic an­thro­­pology and a critical discourse approach. As the contributions focus on the discourse of genetic counseling, gate-keeping discourse, international team co-operation, international business communication, workplace discourse, internet communication, and lamentation discourse, the book exemplifies that the analysis of intercultural communication is organized in response to social needs and, therefore, may contribute to the social justification of linguistics.

Digitized Lives

Author: T.V. Reed
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136690034
Size: 42.21 MB
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In a remarkably short period of time the Internet and associated digital communication technologies have deeply changed the way millions of people around the globe live their lives. But what is the nature of that impact? In chapters examining a broad range of issues—including sexuality, politics, education, race, gender relations, the environment, and social protest movements—Digitized Lives seeks answers to these central questions: What is truly new about so-called "new media," and what is just hype? How have our lives been made better or worse by digital communication technologies? In what ways can these devices and practices contribute to a richer cultural landscape and a more sustainable society? Cutting through the vast—and often contradictory—literature on these topics, Reed avoids both techno-hype and techno-pessimism, offering instead succinct, witty and insightful discussions of how digital communication is impacting our lives and reshaping the major social issues of our era. The book argues that making sense of digitized culture means looking past the glossy surface of techno gear to ask deeper questions about how we can utilize technology to create a more socially, politically, and economically just world. Companion website available at: culturalpolitics.net/digital_cultures

Political Communication And Social Theory

Author: Aeron Davis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136940286
Size: 45.56 MB
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Political Communication and Social Theory presents an advanced and challenging text for students and scholars of political communication and mass media in democracies. It draws together work from across political communication, media sociology and political sociology, and includes a mix of theoretical debate and current examples from several democratic media systems. Its wide ranging discussions both introduce and contest the traditional scholarship on a number of contemporary topics and issues. These include: comparative political and media systems theories of democracy, representation and the public sphere political party communication, marketing and elections the production of news media and public policy media sociology and journalist-source relations celebrity politics, popular culture and political leadership new media and online democracy national-global politics and international political communication foreign policy-making, war and media the crisis of public communication in established democracies. At the same time, Political Communication and Social Theory also offers a fascinating investigation of the causes of crisis in established political and media systems. In today’s democracies, trust in politicians, state institutions and mainstream media sources has dropped to new lows. The traditional business model that sustained journalism is failing and nations are struggling to respond to the existing global recession and impending environmental and resource crises. Drawing on interviews with over 100 experienced politicians, journalists and civil servants, Aeron Davis explores how the varied political actors and communicative processes, at the centre of UK democracy, may or may not be contributing to such crisis tendencies.

Media And Democracy

Author: James Curran
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134372221
Size: 19.18 MB
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Media and Democracy addresses key topics and themes in relation to democratic theory, media and technology, comparative media studies, media and history, and the evolution of media research. For example: How does TV entertainment contribute to the democratic life of society? Why are Americans less informed about politics and international affairs than Europeans? How should new communications technology and globalisation change our understanding of the democratic role of the media? What does the rise of international ezines reveal about the limits of the internet? What is the future of journalism? Does advertising influence the media? Is American media independence from government a myth? How have the media influenced the development of modern society? Professor Curran’s response to these questions provides both a clear introduction to media research, written for university undergraduates studying in different countries, and an innovative analysis written by one of the field’s leading scholars.