Media, Voice, Space and Power : Essays of Refraction book cover
1st Edition

Media, Voice, Space and Power
Essays of Refraction

ISBN 9780367182069
Published December 5, 2019 by Routledge
266 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Nick Couldry is one of the world’s leading analysts of media power and voice, and has been publishing widely for 25 years. This volume, published 20 years after The Place of Media Power, brings together a rich collection of essays from his earliest to his latest writings, some of them hard to access, plus two previously unpublished chapters.

The book’s 15 chapters cover a variety of themes from voice to space, from Big Data to democracy, and from art to reality television. Taken together, they give a unique insight into the range of Couldry’s interests and passions. Throughout, Couldry’s commitment to connecting media research to wider debates in philosophy and social theory is clear. A substantial Afterword reflects on the common themes that run throughout his work and this volume, and the particular challenges of grasping media’s contribution to social order in an age of datafication. A preface by leading US media scholar Jonathan Gray sets these essays in context.

The result is an exciting and clearly-written text that will interest students and researchers of media, culture and social theory across the world.

Table of Contents

Preface: Analysis without Sorting Hats – Jonathan Gray


  1. Speaking Up in a Public Space: The Strange Case of Rachel Whiteread's House
  2. Local Magics, Global Discretion
  3. Speaking about Others and Speaking Personally: Reflections after Elspeth Probyn's Sexing the Self
  4. The Individual "Point of View": Learning from Bourdieu’s The Weight of the World

  6. Remembering Diana: The Geography of Celebrity and the Politics of Lack
  7. Passing Ethnographies: Rethinking the Sites of Agency and Reflexivity in a Mediated World
  8. The Umbrella Man: Crossing a Landscape of Speech and Silence
  9. On the Set of the Sopranos: "Inside" a Fan’s construction of Nearness
  10. Teaching Us to Fake It: The Ritualised Norms of Television's "Reality" Games
  11. Class and Contemporary Forms of "Reality" Production Or, Hidden Injuries of Class 2

  13. Form and Power in an Age of Continuous Spectacle
  14. Living Well with and through Media
  15. What and Where is the Transnationalized Public Sphere?
  16. A Necessary Disenchantment: Myth, Agency and Injustice in the Digital Age
  17. Media in Modernity: A Nice Derangement of Institutions

Afterword: Refracting Power in an Age of Big Data - Nick Couldry

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Nick Couldry is Professor of Media Communications and Social Theory at the London School of Economics. He is the author or editor of 14 books, including The Costs of Connection (with Ulises Mejias, 2019), Media: Why It Matters (2019), The Mediated Construction of Reality (with Andreas Hepp, 2016), Media Rituals: A Critical Approach (2003) and The Place of Media Power (2000).

Jonathan Gray is Hamel Family Distinguished Chair in Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA. He is the author of four books (Television Entertainment; Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts; Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality; and Television Studies (with Amanda D. Lotz) and the co-editor of seven further books.


‘It is a wonderful thing to read these marvellous essays of Nick Couldry, that stand the test of time, and offer us in a timely collection, a resonant and searching set of investigations into the central trajectories of media and culture. This is theory at its best, communicated in an unfailingly generous, bracingly refractory, and utterly distinctive voice. Essential and rewarding reading!’

Gerard Goggin, Professor of Communication and Information Nanyang Technological University

'If you dislike compilation volumes, this book will prove you wrong. Spanning key issues in culturalist media studies – from Princess Diana’s funeral to Big Data - Couldry offers a coherent and grounded exercise in intellectual wonder.'

Kirsten Drotner, University of Southern Denmark         

'Strongly anchored in time and space, Couldry’s essays employ a plurality of theoretical voices to advance our ability to make sense of what people do with media.'

Clemencia Rodríguez, Professor, Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University