The Political Economy of Communication
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The Political Economy of Communication

Second Edition



© 2009 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"A masterpiece... the one single indispensable book that all media students and scholars need to read to understand this vital and growing area of research."
- Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"A contemporary classic of media studies. Vincent Mosco, among the leading media scholars of our or any time, brings his searing insights and crystal prose to bear on the latest issues and debates of the field… An indispensable resource for researchers, activists, and students everywhere."
- Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside

Since publication of its first edition, The Political Economy of Communication has established itself as a true classic and one of the most important contributions to the field. This second edition has been thoroughly restructured, updated and expanded to make it an indispensable text for students and scholars alike. Putting the student at the centre of its updates, this book:
  • Maps the definitions and foundations of political economy
  • Adds 3 new chapters to explore current trends, from feminism and labour to new media, forms of resistance, media reform and democracy
  • Illustrates throughout how power operates across the 21st century media landscape
  • Explores key issues in how media power intersects with globalization, social class, race, gender and surveillance
  • Shows media students why it is essential to understand political economy and its application to media and communication.
Combining penetrating theoretical analysis with passionate commitment, Vincent Mosco once again gives readers an indispensable introduction to the field.
Overview of the Political Economy of Communication
What is Political Economy? Definitions and Characteristics
What is Political Economy? Schools of Thought
The Development of a Political Economy of Communication
The Political Economy of Communication: Building a Foundation
The Political Economy of Communication Today
Commodification: Content, Audiences, Labour
Spatialization: Space, Time, and Communication
Structuration: Class, Gender, Race, Social Movements, Hegemony
Challenges on the Borders … and Beyond

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two


Vincent Mosco's heavily revised and thoroughly updated Political Economy of Communication is a masterpiece. (It) is the one single indispensable book that all media students and scholars need to read to understand this vital and growing area of research
Robert W. McChesney
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Mosco has done all students of communication a great service by updating this book. It captures, summarizes and illustrates an important set of voices and arguments, key interlocutors in the ongoing effort to construct a critical theory and analytic of contemporary communication and culture
Lawrence Grossberg
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The Political Economy of Communication is a contemporary classic of media studies. Now, in this comprehensively revised second edition, Vincent Mosco, among the leading media scholars of our or any time, brings his searing insights and crystal prose to bear on the latest issues and debates of the field… An indispensable resource for researchers, activists, and students everywhere. It is a classic all over again
Toby Miller
University of California, Riverside


The new edition is updated throughout with an expansive bibliography and insights into the intersections between political economy and other disciplines such as sociology, geography, cultural studies, public choice theory and science and technology studies, among others...Mosco’s The Political Economy of Communication, second edition, is a very important resource for scholars, providing a critical and updated review of the field while proposing a forward-looking vision. The book highlights fresh potentials and the continuous relevance of the political economy approach to the study of communication. I would also recommend this as a textbook for graduate courses.

International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics



This book is a must read for students seeking a socio-economic focus on the creative and cultural sector. It is a great introduction and primer on this key emerging area.

Mr Robbie Smyth
Journalism and Media Communications, Griffith College Dublin
July 23, 2012

This book is a must read for students seeking a socio-economic focus on the creative and cultural sector. It is a great introduction and primer on this key emerging area.

Mr Robbie Smyth
Journalism and Media Communications, Griffith College Dublin
July 23, 2012

Mosco's second edition provides an important and significant contribution to the political economy of communication and media studies. Vanda Rideout

Dr Vanda Rideout
Sociology , Univ of New Brunswick - Fredericton
May 7, 2010

Not detailed enough for a doctoral course.

Professor Ron Cugno
Education Department, Nova Southeastern University
April 8, 2010

A line by line update of the 1996 First Edition, this Second Edition has been thoroughly revised, restructured and rewritten. Specific changes include:

• A introductory overview chapter
• Part One is now expanded into five chapters
• A new chapter (Chapter 6) addressing five current trends in the political economy of communication
• Chapter 7 begins with a new section on the philosophical foundation upon which to build a theory of the political economy of communication
• Chapter 8 gives more weight to the concept of globalization and its relationship to nationalism, terrorism, and fundamentalism
• Chapter 9 pays, greater attention to labor and to differences within the study of social class, gender, and race

For instructors

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