Media Convergence: The three degrees of network, mass and interpersonal communication

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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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415482042
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/11/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

Preface ix

Part I A critique of communication 1

1 Introduction: communication - the very idea 3

The end of communication 5

Case study: speaking of the weather - climate change 7

Communication in theory and practice 10

Outline of the volume 13

2 Erro, ergo sum: communication and pragmatism in the history of ideas 19

Communicating with the classics 20

Re-actualizing Aristotle 22

Kant and other Copernican turns 25

Peircean pragmatism 28

Case study: interpretive communities 32

The linguistic turn 35

A communicative turn 37

3 Differences that make a difference: the art and science of media and communication research 39

A conflict of the faculties 40

When is meaning? 41

Case study: three differences that make a difference 44

Information into meaning 47

Communication - between transmission and ritual 49

Performativity and interactivity 51

The upper and lower thresholds of communication 55

Programmable media 57

Part II Media of three degrees 59

4 Media matters: the material conditions of communication 61

Determination in the first instance 62

Material media of three degrees 64

Case study: three-step flow 71

From matter to media 74

A fourth degree 80

5 Media meanings: the discourses, genres, and modalities of communication 83

The medium was the message 84

Media and modalities 85

Is there a text in this network? 88

Case study: searching media - search engines 92

Meta-communication in three degrees 94

Turns and transitions 100

6 Media institutions: between agency and structure 103

Institutions-to-think-with 104

The duality of communication 105

Case study: what's mobile in mobile communication? - mobile telephones 108

The right to communicate 110

Some rights reserved 117

Part III The double hermeneutics of media and communication research 123

7 Media of science: doing communication research 125

Signs of science 126

New media, old methods 127

Information and inference 131

Case study: generalizing about generalization 140

Unification in the final instance 142

8 The future of communication: pragmatism between modernism and postmodernism 147

"Nothing is as practical as a good theory" 148

Theories in practice 149

Modernist pragmatism 151

Postmodernist pragmatism 156

Case study: cartoon communications - the Fyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy 160

A third way 163

References 167

Index 189

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