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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.
Athique: Digital Media and Society
"Adrian Athique's introduction brings digital media, and its culture, politics and economics, into sharp focus. This book provides an essential outline of the digital world; it is accessible to all while remaining complex enough to be accurate."
Tim Jordan, King’s College London
The rise of digital media has been widely regarded as transforming the nature of our social experience in the 21st century. As an entry level pathway for students in sociology, media, communications and cultural studies, the aim of this work is to situate the rise of the digital media within the context of a complex and rapidly changing world.
"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
Beckett with Ball: Wikileaks
"A fascinating insight into Wikileaks, and what its version of transparency means for the ethics, focus and newly emerging forms of journalism in our time. Beckett and Ball have produced a book that combines timeliness with significance in its examination of the implications of Wikileaks for journalism."
David A. L. Levy, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
This is the first book to examine Wikileaks and its place in the contemporary news environment fully and critically. The authors combine inside knowledge with the latest media research and analysis to argue that the significance of WikiLeaks is that it is part of the shift in the nature of news to a network system that is contestable and unstable. Welcome to Wiki World and a new age of uncertainty.
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
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.
Gray and Lotz: Television Studies
"Television Studies is the best introduction to the field available. Lotz and Gray present a comprehensive synthesis of the theories and methods that have defined television studies so far, bringing together a wide range of critical models for studying the medium’s past, present and future. Undergraduates will love this highly engaging book. "
Laurie Ouellette, University of Minnesota
McCombs, Holbert, Kiousis and Wanta: The News and Public Opinion
"Unquestionably, The News and Public Opinion would be my first choice if asked to recommend a single book about the interface between news stories and the public's political views. This brief study is amazingly comprehensive in its range of topics and depth of analysis. The clear, smooth prose makes it a joy to read. "
Doris Graber, University of Illinois at Chicago
Gauntlett: Making is Connecting
"Gauntlett offers a terrific account of how creativity, craft and community intersect in the 21st Century. "
David Gauntlett argues that through making things, people engage with the world and create connections with each other. We are seeing a shift from a 'sit-back-and-be-told' culture to one where people make their own learning and entertainment. Drawing on evidence from psychology, politics, philosophy, and economics, he shows how this shift is essential for the happiness and survival of modern societies.
Howard : Castells and the Media
"Howard has traced for us the often invisible elements of an intellectual trajectory by a major thinker on the new technologies. It is a wonderful and often surprising account - bringing to life the multiple and messy ways in which these new technologies are shaped, sharpened, undermined by the social conditions within which they get used. "
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University
Entman: Scandal and Silence
"Robert Entman has long been one of the most insightful analysts of the news media. Scandal and Silence will add to his reputation. Anyone who thought they had a reasonable understanding of how the media handle scandal will have to think again. A brilliant book that is a must read for those in the classroom, the newsroom, and the political cloakroom."
Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard University
This timely and engaging book challenges the conventional wisdom on media and scandal in the United States. Using case studies from the period 1988-2008, the book builds a new understanding of media scandals which will be essential reading for those concerned with media and democracy today.
Street: Music and Politics
"From Ancient Athens to Zimbabwe; from Amnesty International and A+ albums to white supremacists and the songs of the Wombles; John Street confronts the serious and the silly as he traces the intricate threads through which music and politics are interwoven into the fabric of our lives. Blending the passions of a pop fan with the scepticism of the scholarly critic, Street’s clear, convincing and comprehensive book offers an indispensable guide to how musicians make politics and politicians manipulate music."
Keith Negus, Goldsmith, University of London
Buckingham : The Material Child
"The Material Child cuts through the sanctimonious moral rhetorics and panics of contemporary life illuminating the complexities that have made the child consumer the site of unrelenting cultural anxiety. With characteristic insightful and deft analysis, David Buckingham successfully reframes how we might comprehend public debates regarding children and the commercial world and thus how we may forge new responses to ongoing changes in economic and social life. This work immediately takes its place in as a standard and must-read for anyone interested in childhood, politics, media and consumer culture. "
Daniel Thomas Cook, Rutgers University
Papathanassopoulos and Negrine : European Media
"Two veteran watchers of the evolving European media landscape have put together a comprehensive and coherent account succinctly and clearly. It is especially strong in historical and political economic sense, but above all informative, relevant and as up to date as can ever be achieved at one moment. Strongly recommended as a text. "
Dennis McQuail, Emeritus Professor, University of Amsterdam
Mellor, Ayish, Dajani and Rinnawi: Arab Media
"Provides an in-depth, comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of all forms of Arab media in light of the current technological, political and socio-economic leaps that are being witnessed in the globalization era. A highly needed contribution and a great read for media scholars and students. "
Mohammed el-Nawawy, Queens University of Charlotte
Lester: Media and Environment
"As we teeter on the brink of environmental apocalypse, we may wonder: how did we get here? Libby Lester’s insightful analysis of the role of news media in constructing our understanding of the multiple environmental crises engulfing the earth provides important clues. Through her global perspective on why we get the environmental news coverage that we do, Lester gives us some hope for charting a new direction."
Kevin DeLuca, University of Utah
Media and Environment argues that news maintains a central role in environmental politics. As such, it asks about our understandings of place and community, of local responsibility and global citizenship, and how communication as a society on these crucial issues affects our lives, now and into the future.
Sparks and Villagran : Patient and Provider Interaction
"Patient and Provider Interaction is an excellent prescription for clearing the frosted glass that all too often obscures the communication between patient and care giver and leads to unnecessary unhappiness, misunderstandings and, at times, despair. "
Frank L. Meyskens, University of California
This book offers a much-needed introduction to the dynamics of the communication exchange between providers and patients in the health-care environment, explaining how health communication theory and research can help us better understand these complex interactions, and provide strategies for improving patient and provider communication.
Deuze: Media Life
"This innovative interpretation of our relationship to media is both coherent and the fruit of much thought. It contains the promise of a long sought for new paradigm to replace the original causal-linear model of mass communication. "
Denis McQuail, University of Amsterdam
Media Life is a primer on how we may think of our lives as lived in rather than with media. The book uses the way media function today as a prism to understand key issues in contemporary society, where reality is open source, identities are - like websites - always under construction, and where private life is lived in public forever more.
Livingstone: Children and the Internet
"Sonia Livingstone is equally at home with statistical and ethnographic insights as she digs deep into the paradoxes and contradictions surrounding young people's online lives. She punctures myths and tips over sacred cows here, but in the process, she's modeling a process of healthy skepticism about the claims being made on all sides about what it means to grow up digital. Throughout, Children and the Internet offers us a guide to how we might seize the potentials and avoid the risks of this new and uncharted cultural terrain."
Henry Jenkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The internet and the mobile phones have disrupted many of our conventional understandings of our selves and our relationships. This timely book provides frameworks for thinking critically about the roles of digital media in personal relationships, offering a data-grounded primer on how to make sense of these important changes in relational life.
Briggs and Burke: A Social History of the Media 3rd Edition
"Media history may be the single most important chapter of human history. If we want to understand wars, revolutions, religions, and intellectual movements, then we must ultimately confront the question ‘Who communicated what to whom – and how?’ For both students and specialists, Briggs and Burke have produced the most comprehensive and concise synthesis of what we know about this subject."
Jonathan Rose, Drew University
Written by two leading social and cultural historians, A Social History of the Media provides a masterful overview of communication media and the social and cultural contexts within which they emerged and evolved. This third edition has been thoroughly revised to bring the text up to date with the very latest developments in the field.
Hoskins and O’ Loughlin: War and Media
"In today's new environment of an apparent never-ending war on terror, governments put together their media strategy with as much care as they construct their military one. This important book helps us understand the fragile relationship between war and media and examine it with a fresh and informed eye."
Phillip Knightley, author of The First Casualty, a history of war correspondents and propaganda.
The trinity of government, military and publics has been drawn together into immediate and unpredictable relationships in a 'new media ecology' that has ushered in new asymmetries in the waging of war and terror. To help us understand these new relationships, Andrew Hoskins and Ben O'Loughlin here provide a timely, comprehensive and highly readable survey of the field of war and media.
Craig Allen Smith's Presidential Campaign Communication provides a thorough and insightful analysis of the role that communication plays in U.S. presidential campaigns. Smith combines a wealth of knowledge of the practical aspects of presidential politics with a deep understanding of the relevant theories and principles of communication and rhetoric. This book deserves the attention of students and scholars of media and journalism, political science and communication, as well as candidates and political campaign practitioners.
Mitchell S. McKinney, University of Missouri
Kramer: Organizational Socialization
"All organizations and organizational members experience change. Although socialization and assimilation processes are a central part of the organizational communication and management disciplines, no one has provided a comprehensive summary of the area, until now. Kramer’s book gives a very thorough summary and review of organizational socialization, explicating the various theories, models, and empirical studies on the subject. This book is not only useful for students, but is a "must have" for organizational scholars in communication, management, and industrial psychology."
Patty Sias, Washington State University
The experiences of joining and leaving organizations permeate most people’s lives in the 21st century. This book provides a framework for increasing our understanding of those experiences using a mixture of specific examples, scholarly findings, and theoretical concepts and models.
Chapman: Issues in Contemporary Documentary
"Jane Chapman’s book offers students a clear introduction to some of the main questions and debates surrounding current documentary practice. Not only is the whole book developed around selected examples, it is informed throughout by the ethical, creative, and technological challenges of actually making films and programmes. Its strongly "insider" viewpoint usefully complements the "outsider" framings of most film and television studies."
John Corner, University of Liverpool
This book presents a fascinating new overview of a rich film-making tradition and the particular challenges that it faces in the current age. Jane Chapman leads the reader through a broad and varied set of issues, ranging from the problems associated with defining documentary to the particular ethical dilemmas faced by film-makers in the digital age.
Matheson and Allan: Digital War Reporting
"This is an incisive and often gripping study of how digital media transform coverage of conflict. For those who study the evolving relationship between war and journalism, Digital War Reporting is essential reading."
Philip Seib, University of Southern California
Digital War Reporting examines war reporting in a digital age. It shows how new technologies open up innovative ways for journalists to convey the horrors of warfare while, at the same time, creating opportunities for propaganda, censorship and control.
Wikström: The Music Industry
"The Music Industry is a lucid and astute overview of what has happened to popular music since the mp3 met the Internet at the birth of Napster. It is the first scholarly book to make real sense of the present state of the music industry. By looking at the contemporary landscape of popular music from multiple perspectives, including the fan perspective, Patrik Wikstrom provides clear explanations for the consequences new digital media have had for music, musicians, and the recording industry."
Longhurst: Popular Music and Society 2nd Edition
"A thoughtful and systematic introduction, full of up-to-date information, this book speaks simultaneously to students of socio-musical analysis and to all of us for whom music matters."
Tia DeNora, University of Exeter
Topics covered include:
Gill: Gender and the Media
"Brilliant – a must-read for all media educators."
Newsletter of the Media Education Association
The book looks in depth at five areas of media - talk shows, magazines, news, advertising, and contemporary screen and paperback romances - to examine how representations of women and men are changing in the twenty-first century, partly in response to feminist, queer and anti-racist critique.
McCombs: Setting the Agenda
"Beautifully written and clearly organized, it is the definitive work on media agenda-setting by the founders of this branch of empirical research."
David Weaver, Indiana University
In addition to describing this media influence on what we think about and how we think about it, Setting the Agenda also discusses the sources of these media agendas, the psychological explanation for their impact on the public agenda, and the subsequent consequences for attitudes, opinions and behaviour.
Chapman: Comparative Media History
"Readers will appreciate the careful incorporation of research results particularly impressive in discussions of post-1980 trends, including the impact of the Internet and globalization. The book seems best marked, however, by brilliant articulation of trends, with particular attention to their origins and trajectories, and of themes that draw readers’ thought to specific contexts of change. Beyond filling significant needs in journalism and international media history, which would make it valuable enough, the book promises to reshape thinking and become a touchstone for future research in media history. Indeed, rarely has a book come across my desk that seemed so likely to so profoundly affect scholarship in a field."
Hazel Dicken-Garcia, University of Minnesota
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.
Polity is excited to launch a new series of books which provide cutting-edge yet accessible overviews of key topics in the study of minority groups and the media. Each volume brings together the latest work on the relationship between race, class, gender and media, highlights emergent areas of research, and points to future directions. These volumes will provide an ideal way to integrate the study of minorities and media into the classroom, or to give inspiration for research agendas.
A major new 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.polity.co.uk/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.polity.co.uk/keyconcepts.