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Polity has a strong and fast-expanding list in the field of media and communication studies. We publish many of the key scholars in the field and our list has earned a reputation for innovative, path-breaking publications. We also have a strong list of textbooks in media and communication studies which are adopted at colleges and universities around the world.
Our authors include some of the key social and cultural theorists whose works have contributed to the discipline of media and communication studies, including Theodor W. Adorno, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Derrida, Jürgen Habermas, Paul Virilio and Slavoj Žižek. We have also published some of the leading scholars of the media, including Nancy Baym, David Buckingham, Robert Entman, Elihu Katz, Douglas Kellner, Sonia Livingstone, Geert Lovink, Niklas Luhmann, Armand Mattelart, Maxwell McCombs, Joshua Meyrowitz, John Durham Peters, Mark Poster, Michael Schudson, Roger Silverstone, John B. Thompson and Janet Wasko.
Visit our highlights page for more information on our new and forthcoming general interest titles.
"New communications technologies are always hyped by some people and denounced by others. Nancy Baym’s brilliant book explodes myths and challenges stereotypes. Her clear-sighted and penetrating analysis provides the mental toolkit needed to reach a more nuanced view of the social impact of digital media."
Tom Standage, Digital Editor, The Economist
Highfield: Social Media and Everyday Politics
"This is an excellent book. It is comprehensive and up-to-date. It is a great introduction to social media in general – but especially delivers handsomely on its topic of everyday politics and social media. The range of examples and cases are terrific and well-analysed. I especially like the authorial voice — grounded, funny, lively, sharp."
Gerard Goggin, University of Sydney
Lupton: The Quantified Self
With the advent of digital devices and software, self-tracking practices have gained new adherents and have spread into a wide array of social domains. The Quantified Self movement has emerged to promote "self - knowledge through numbers". In this ground-breaking book, Deborah Lupton critically analyses the social, cultural and political dimensions of contemporary self-tracking and identifies the concepts of selfhood, human embodiment and the value of data that underpin them.
Hegde: Mediating Migration
Media practices and the everyday cultures of transnational migrants are deeply interconnected. Mediating Migration narrates aspects of the migrant experience as shaped by the technologies of communication and the social, political and cultural configurations of neoliberal globalization.
Nerone: The Media and Public Life
Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015
In this lucid guide, John Nerone traces the history of the media in public life. His unconventional account decenters professional journalism from its role in providing information to the people and reconceives it as part of a broader set of media practices. The result is a sensitive study of the relationship between media and society.
"How politicians perform seems to matter as much as what they claim to believe in. Crucial to the success of politicians’ performances is media representation. Geoffrey Craig’s analysis of this process of making political subjectivities visible is both highly perceptive and rigorously systematic. This book makes an important contribution to the growing literature on the cultural sociology of political performance."
Stephen Coleman, University of Leeds
Sullivan & McKee: Pornography: Structures, Agency & Performance
"Here, at last, is an introductory book that grounds the study of pornography in theory and empirical research, discusses it in relation to industry, labour, technology, regulation and performance, and is thoroughly accessible and engaging. Sullivan and McKee’s book will become the key text for anyone researching pornography, as well as those who are interested in sex, sexuality and media."
Feona Attwood, University of Middlesex
"In Transnational Audiences Athique develops a sophisticated and layered analysis of the complexities of studying media audiences. This book is an important contribution to students attempting to grasp the several decades of audience research and the important and necessary move from national to transnational analysis foci."
Antonio C. La Pastina, Texas A&M University
"With his customary élan, Jean Chalaby has done a great service to our understanding of the international flow of culture. The Format Age is a judicious theoretical and empirical intervention. Bravo!"
Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside
"McNamara has written an excellent and most useful book. Drawing on a rich vein of information from her industry research as well as from the academic literature, McNamara’s Paparazzi is indispensable for anyone wanting to properly understand the contemporary production and circulation of celebrity."
Graeme Turner, University of Queensland
"Rojek's book is a tour-de-force of interdisciplinary social criticism. Ambitious in scope, brilliant in execution, it constitutes nothing less than a profound meditation on what it means to be a human being today."
David Inglis, University of Exeter
Chouliaraki: The Ironic Spectator
Winner of the ICA 2015 Outstanding Book Award
This book addresses the question of how we can live together under cultural distance and political conflict. Drawing on classical thought, Aristotelian virtue ethics, and contemporary political and social theory, the book shows how stories of violence in the media may shape ethical dispositions and cosmopolitan consciousness among Western publics.
Geomedia offers critical analysis of the new possibilities and power relations emerging in the public space of contemporary cities. Looking beyond debates framed by the dominance of surveillance and spectacle, McQuire asks: how might the kind of practices that have flourished in art and online cultures be translated into urban space?
Sale & Salisbury: Kittler Now: Current Perspectives in Kittler Studies
"This brilliant collection of essays responds to [Kittler’s] groundbreaking work on media, mathematics, music, poetry and war. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to question the status of the ‘human’ in a world populated increasingly by media and machines."
Nicholas Gane, Warwick University
"Original and rigorous, and yet accessible, these essays reveal the continued relevance of Derrida’s work in helping us think our present intellectual, cultural and political situations in our day-to-day lives."
Nicole Anderson, Macquarie University, Sydney
Robertson: Media and Politics in a Globalizing World
Globalization and technological advances have had a dramatic impact on the media-politics relationship and how it is understood. This book adopts a comparative approach to the study of these relations, and provides fresh insight into our media landscape. It argues that it is not possible to understand politics without understanding the global media.
Longhurst & Bogdanović: Popular Music & Society, 3rd edition
"This third edition by Longhurst and Bogdanović offers a comprehensive updated sociological analysis of the field of popular music which incorporates media and cultural studies into its frame. It reflects backward and telegraphs forward the key theories, approaches, analysis and criticisms that abound in the field. It is both accessible and scholarly and will be a key resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in sociology, and media and cultural studies."
Helen Thomas, University of the Arts London
Entwistle: The Fashioned Body, 2nd edition
The Fashioned Body provides a wide-ranging and original overview of fashion and dress from an historical and sociological perspective. With a new preface and new material on the evolving fashion industry, this second edition gives a clear summary of the theories surrounding the role and function of fashion in modern society.
"The second edition of Presidential Campaign Communication offers a complete rearrangement and updating of content. As the next election approaches, it is definitely a book I would use in any course focused on the U.S. presidency. Students loved the first edition. They will like this one even more."
Martin Medhurst, Baylor University
Lobato & Thomas: The Informal Media Economy
How are e-book pirates changing the publishing industry? What role does organised crime play in the global movie business? How do "jailbroken" iPhones drive innovation? This book sets out to answer these and other questions by bringing media studies into dialogue with a wider body of critical research on informal, or off-the-books, economies.
Cooren: Organizational Discourse
"For students of language, communication, and organizations, François Cooren has written a terrific introduction to organizational discourse analysis. His review of six discourse approaches is bolstered by his extensive research in the field and his goal to help readers understand the organizing potential of language. This organizing potential is key to knowing how organizations are communicatively constituted. The writing in this book is clear, accessible, and inviting. I highly recommend it!"
Gail Fairhurst, University of Cincinnati
Deery: Reality TV
Reality TV has changed television and changed reality, even if we are not among the millions who watch. This study encompasses the evolution of reality television, its production of reflexive selves and ordinary celebrity, its advertising and commercialization, and its spearheading of new relations between television and social media.
Smartphone adoption has surpassed 50% of the population in more than 15 countries. Many of these applications take advantage of smartphones as locative media, which is what allows smartphones to be located in physical space. This raises important questions about how we understand the complicated relationship between the Internet and physical space.
McCombs: Setting the Agenda 2nd edition
"This second edition of Setting the Agenda continues the exploration and elaboration of the original concept of media agenda setting into a complex and useful theory of the relationships of media, public and policy agendas. It is a comprehensive and readable overview of hundreds of studies on this subject. Beautifully written and clearly organized, it is the definitive work on agenda setting by one of the founders of this branch of empirical research."
David H. Weaver, Indiana University
Couldry: Media, Society, World
"Media, Society, World is comprehensive and current in its coverage--of research, of real-world examples, and larger pressing questions about new media. The book is empirically and theoretically informed, and surveys both the academic research and historical developments in media in a single work. It is Castells-like in its range and ambition."
John Durham Peters, University of Iowa
"For those unfamiliar with the concept of mediatization, Andreas Hepp opens up some stimulating new directions for media studies. For those already working with the concept, Hepp's integrative theoretical analysis plus refreshing questioning will prove equally stimulating."
Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics and Political Science
Waisbord (ed.): Media Sociology
Where is sociology in contemporary media studies? How do sociological issues shape media analysis? These questions are addressed in this timely collection on media sociology. With original contributions from leading scholars, Media Sociology: a reappraisal examines the significance of sociology for the multi-faceted study of media.
"Jenkins, Ito, and boyd offer us all a wonderful gift in the form of this book – it’s as though one gets a chance to listen in on a great dinner party conversation between three brilliant scholars, reflecting on more than twenty years of trenchant scholarship on culture, play, identity, and the emergence of the digital world."
John Palfrey, Phillips Academy
"David Lyon’s new book on surveillance post - Snowden builds on his indispensable body of work to understand the dangers of mass surveillance."
Laura Poitras, Filmmaker and Journalist
According to many experts, the rapid digitization of education over the past ten years has undoubtedly been a "good thing".
Is Technology Good For Education? offers a critical counterpoint to this received wisdom, challenging some of the central ways in which digital technology is presumed to be positively affecting education. Instead Neil Selwyn considers what is being lost as digital technologies become ever more integral to education provision and engagement. Crucially, he questions the values, agendas and interests that stand to gain most from the rise of digital education.
Horten: The Closing of the Net
"Today’s communications fabric relies on a layered connective space (the internet). The corporate power that underwrites that space generates an unprecedented power problem for democracy. Monica Horten’s sharply written book confronts that problem head-on, with striking case studies. Who really benefits from the 'fingertap of desire' that drives our device use? Read this illuminating book to find out."
Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science
This book is about the rise of digital labor. Companies like Uber, 99Designs, Amazon Mechanical Turk, and CrowdFlower promise autonomy, choice, and flexibility. One of network culture's toughest critics, Trebor Scholz chronicles the work of the two million workers in the crowdsourcing industry to take these myths apart.
Lovink: Social Media Abyss
'Geert Lovink has set his laptop up in the internet cafe teetering on the edge of the abyss. Staring deep into that vortex, and catching sight of its many shiny whirling surfaces, Lovink's writing always reminds us of the fundamental pleasure and necessity of saying 'No'.'
Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, University of London
"From the person who more or less invented cultural labour studies as we know it comes this important set of essays, full of political passion and brilliant insight."
David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds
Altman & Symons: Queer Wars
The claim that "LGBT rights are human rights" encounters fierce opposition in many parts of the world. Drawing on international relations, anthropology, cultural studies and the literature of the global LGBT movement, this book asks why homosexuality has become so vexed an issue between and within nations, and how we can best advocate for change.
New technologies are fundamentally altering the ways in which we communicate. This series from Polity aims to provide a set of books that make available for a broad readership cutting-edge research and thinking on digital media and their social contexts. Taken as a whole, the series will examine questions about the impact of network technology and digital media on society in all its facets, including economics, culture and politics.
This new series aims to make a wide range of theory relevant and accessible for students of media and communication studies. Each volume draws on a rich body of literature and will consider instances in which theorists have directly discussed media and communication.
A major series of innovative and lively short introductions to the main areas of the social sciences and humanities. For information on individual volumes please go to the series webpage: www.politybooks.com/shortintroductions.
New and published titles of particular interest to media and communication students and lecturers are listed below. Please check other subject pages for further titles in this series.
Key Concepts is a series of concise and accessible textbooks exploring core concepts in the social sciences. The books focus on concepts that are central to each discipline and have a high degree of complexity surrounding them. For more information on individual titles please see the series webpage: www.politybooks.com/keyconcepts.