Media Convergence : The Three Degrees of Network, Mass and Interpersonal Communication book cover
1st Edition

Media Convergence
The Three Degrees of Network, Mass and Interpersonal Communication

ISBN 9780415482042
Published January 12, 2010 by Routledge
198 Pages

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Book Description

The development of digital media presents a unique opportunity to reconsider what communication is, and what individuals, groups, and societies might hope to accomplish through new as well as old media. At a time when digital media still provoke both utopian and dystopian views of their likely consequences, Klaus Bruhn Jensen places these ‘new’ media in a comparative perspective together with ‘old’ mass media and face-to-face communication, restating the two classic questions of media studies: what do media do to people, and what do people do with media?  

Media Convergence makes a distinction between three general types of media: the human body enabling communication in the flesh; the technically reproduced means of mass communication; and the digital technologies facilitating interaction one-to-one, one-to-many, as well as many-to-many.

Features include:

  • case studies, including mobile phones in everyday life, the Muhammad cartoons controversy and climate change as a global challenge for human communication and political action
  • diagrams, figures, and tables summarizing key concepts beyond standard ‘models of communication’
  • systematic cross-referencing. Major terms are highlighted and cross-referenced throughout, with key concepts defined in margin notes.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations.  Preface.  Part One – A Critique of Communication  1. Introduction: Communication – The Very Idea  2. Erro, Ergo Sum – Communication and Pragmatism in the History of Ideas  3. Differences that Make a Difference – The Art and Science of Media and Communication Research  Part Two – Media of Three Degrees  4. Media Matters – The Material Conditions of Communication  5. Media Meanings – The Discourses, Genres, and Modalities of Communication  6. Media Institutions – Between Agency and Structure  Part Three – The Double Hermeneutics of Media and Communication Research  7. Media of Science – Doing Communication Research  8. The Future of Communication – Pragmatism between Modernism and Postmodernism.  References.  Index

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Klaus Bruhn Jensen is Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Recent publications include A Handbook of Media and Communication Research (2002) and International Encyclopedia of Communication (12 vols, 2008), for which he served as Area Editor of Communication Theory and Philosophy. Current research interests include internet studies, mobile media, and communication theory.


In this compact and smart volume, Klaus Bruhn Jensen has done two essential things: shown us how rich the pragmatist tradition is for understanding communication and torn down the Berlin wall between interpersonal and mass communication. Media Convergence provides us with a trusty Virgil for navigating the digital jungle! - John D. Peters, The University of Iowa, USA