In this book Nick Couldry, media and cultural theorist from the London School of Economics, asks what are the priorities for media and cultural research today - at a time of the intensified mediation of all fields of social life, threats to democratic legitimacy, and serious instability on the global political stage. The book calls for a "decentered" media research that rejects easy assumptions about media's role in holding societies together and instead looks more critically at the difference media make on the ground to the material conditions of our lives. In what detailed ways do media transform knowledge and agency in daily life? How do media contribute to the culture of democratic politics? And, most difficult of all, how can we live, ethically, with and through media? Couldry's previous work is well known for its breadth, ranging across media sociology, media theory and cultural theory. Here he draws also on political theory and ethics to develop a tightly-argued account of how media and cultural research must now reorient itself if it is to remain relevant and critical. Nick Couldry is Reader in Media, Communications and Culture at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author or editor of five books including Media Rituals: A Critical Approach (Routledge 2003), The Place of Media Power (Routledge 2000) and (coedited with James Curran) Contesting Media Power (Rowman and Littlefield 2003).
“Couldry’s background in philosophy and law is brought to bear here to excellent effect. …Cutting through a wealth of theory and interpretive analysis in cultural studies, political theory, ideology, and anthropology, he holds that the most basic moral obligation of the media is to create spaces for individuals and groups to articulate their needs and interests unmolested by interests of entrenched social and political power. Much of this book is devoted to the complex ways in which this is both difficult and necessary. More importantly, as this book so admirably demonstrates, this project has always been, and should continue to be, at the core of what cultural scholars spend their time doing.”
—Popular Communication, 2008