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This is a lucid, generous, and strikingly original account of the emergence of media and communication studies as a vibrant academic field. Moving across sociology, critical theory, and cultural studies, Scannell takes stock of the key concepts and questions that have come to define the field over the past six decades. In this expanded and revised edition, Scannell identifies what is distinctive about the media of the 20th century - the immense power of live broadcasting and unscripted talk in public in shaping both the eventful and the everyday across much of the world.
Anyone who wants to understand the intellectual roots of the present study of media and communication needs to read this book. Scannell’s achievement is quite unique: he puts the American, the European and the British traditions of inquiry into productive dialogue with each other and shows some surprising affinities between them as well as some prescient foresights. The breadth of his scholarship is invariably enlightening, lucid in its accounts and generous in its judgements.