Communication as Culture, Revised Edition : Essays on Media and Society book cover
2nd Edition

Communication as Culture, Revised Edition
Essays on Media and Society

ISBN 9780415989763
Published September 17, 2008 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

In this classic text, James W. Carey maintains that communication is not merely the transmission of information; reminding the reader of the link between the words "communication" and "community," he broadens his definition to include the drawing-together of a people that is culture. In this context, Carey questions the American tradition of focusing only on mass communication's function as a means of social and political control, and makes a case for examining the content of a communication—the meaning of symbols, not only the motives that originate them or the purposes they serve. He seeks to recast the goal of communication studies, replacing the search for deterministic laws of behavior with a simpler, yet far more challenging mission: "to enlarge the human conversation by comprehending what others are saying."

This new edition includes a new critical foreword by G. Stuart Adam that explains Carey's fundamental role in transforming the study of mass communication to include a cultural perspective and connects his classic essays with contemporary media issues and trends. This edition also adds a new, complete bibliography of all of Carey's writings.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Introduction




A Cultural Approach to Communication

Mass Communication and Cultural Studies

Reconceiving "Mass" and "Media"

Overcoming Resistance to Cultural Studies


The Mythos of the Electronic Revolution with John J Quirk

Space, Time and Communications: A Tribute to Harold Innis

The History of the Future with John J Quirk

Technology and Ideology: The Case of the Telegraph

Works Cited


About the Author



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James W. Carey was born in 1934 in Providence, Rhode Island. He earned a first degree in Business at the University of Rhode Island before attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was awarded a doctorate in communications. He was appointed to the faculty at Illinois in 1963 and was director of its Institute for Communication Research from 1969-76. From 1976-79, Carey held the George H. Gallup Chair at the University of Iowa, but he returned to Illinois in 1979 to become Dean of the College of Communication, a position he held until 1992. He joined the faculty of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1992 and remained there until his death in May, 2006. In the course of a distinguished career as an administrator, teacher, original thinker and pioneer in the fields of communication and American cultural studies, Carey published approximately 170 essays, speeches, and reviews.


"Carey's seminal work joins central issues in the field and redefines them. AN historically inspired treatment of major figures and theories, required reading for the sophisticated scholar." -- George Gerbner, Dean, The Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania