Faculty books


Selected books authored, co-authored or edited by Media and Communications faculty and researchers.

Globalization and the Media

Globalization and the Media

As serious academic work on and around globalization and the media continues to flourish as never before, this new title in Routledge’s Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of literature, and to provide a map of the area as it has emerged and developed. It is a landmark collection of foundational and the best cutting-edge scholarship in the field and is organized in four volumes.

Terhi Rantanen and César Jiménez-Martínez (Routledge, 2019)

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Costs of Connection

The Costs of Connection: How Data Is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism

Nick Couldry and Ulises A. Mejias (Standford University Press, 2019)

Just about any social need is now met with an opportunity to "connect" through digital means. But this convenience is not free—it is purchased with vast amounts of personal data transferred through shadowy backchannels to corporations using it to generate profit. The Costs of Connection uncovers this process, this "data colonialism," and its designs for controlling our lives—our ways of knowing; our means of production; our political participation. Confronting the alarming degree of surveillance already tolerated, they offer a stirring call to decolonize the internet and emancipate our desire for connection.

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Read a review here.


Heading Home: Motherhood, Work, and the Failed Promise of Equality

Shani Orgad (Columbia University Press, 2019)

In this new book, Shani Orgad draws on in-depth, personal, and profoundly ambivalent interviews with highly educated London women who left paid employment to take care of their children while their husbands continued to work in high-powered jobs. Despite identifying the structural forces that maintain gender inequality, these women still struggle to articulate their decisions outside the narrow cultural ideals that devalue motherhood and individualize success and failure.

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Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny

Sarah Banet-Weiser (Duke University Press, 2018)

In Empowered, Sarah Banet-Weiser examines the deeply entwined relationship between popular feminism and popular misogyny as it plays out in advertising, online and multimedia platforms, and nonprofit and commercial campaigns. Examining feminist discourses that emphasize self-confidence, body positivity, and individual achievement alongside violent misogynist phenomena such as revenge porn, toxic geek masculinity, and men's rights movements, Banet-Weiser traces how popular feminism and popular misogyny are co-constituted.

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Listen to Sarah's LSE lecture on this topic here.
Read Sarah's Los Angeles Review of Books series about popular feminism here

Politics of chinese media

The Politics of Chinese Media: Consensus and Contestation 

Bingchun Meng (Palgrave, 2018)

This book offers an analytical account of the consensus and contestations of the politics of Chinese media at both institutional and discursive levels. It considers the formal politics of how the Chinese state manages political communication internally and externally in the post-socialist era, and examines the politics of news media, focusing particularly on how journalists navigate the competing demands of the state, the capital and the urban middle class readership. 

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Understanding PR

Understanding Public Relations: Theory, Culture, Society

Lee Edwards (Sage, 2018)

In this book, Lee Edwards argues that public relations is not merely an organizational tool, but a powerful influence on social and political life. From carefully considered communication by multinational corporations, to government campaigns that manage public opinion, to the self-promotion of celebrities via social media, public relations is central to our individual and collective lives.

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Digital dominance

Digital Dominance: The Power of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple

Martin Moore and Damian Tambini, eds (Oxford University Press, 2018)

In this volume, Martin Moore and Damian Tambini draw together the world's leading researchers to examine the digital dominance of technologies platforms and look at the evidence behind the rising tide of criticism of the tech giants. In fifteen chapters, the authors examine the economic, political, and social impacts of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, in order to understand the different facets of their power and how it is manifested. Digital Dominance is the first interdisciplinary volume on this topic, contributing to a conversation which is critical to maintaining the health of democracies across the world.

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circulation of antiausterity protest

The Circulation of Anti-Austerity Protest

Bart Cammaerts (Palgrave, 2018)

In this book a set of theoretical and methodological resources are presented to study the way in which protest, resistance and social movement discourses circulate through society and looks at the role of media and of communication in this process. Empirically, the focus of this book is on the UK’s anti-austerity movement.  ‘The Circuit of Protest’, as developed in this volume, is comprised of an analysis of the discourses of the anti-austerity movement and their corresponding movement frames, and the self-mediation practices geared at communicating these.

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Smartphone Cultures

Jane Vincent and Leslie Haddon, eds. (Routledge, 2018)

Smartphone Cultures explores emerging questions about the ways in which mobile technology and its apps have been produced, represented, regulated and incorporated into everyday social practices. The various authors in this volume each locate their contributions within the circuit of culture model. More specifically, this book engages with issues of production and regulation in the case of the electrical infrastructure supporting smartphones and the development of mobile social gambling apps.

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Mediated construction of reality

The Mediated Construction of Reality

Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp (Polity, 2017)

WINNER of the 2017 German Communication Association (DGPuK) Theory Prize. Social theory needs to be completely rethought in a world of digital media and social media platforms driven by data processes. Fifty years after Berger and Luckmann published their classic text The Social Construction of Reality, two leading sociologists of media, Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp, revisit the question of how social theory can understand the processes through which an everyday world is constructed in and through media.

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Read a review here and here.

Children and the media

Children and Media in India: Narratives of class, agency and social change

Shakuntala Banaji (Routledge, 2017)

Children and Media in India illuminates the experiences, practices and contexts in which children and young people in diverse locations across India encounter, make, or make meaning from media in the course of their everyday lives. From textbooks, television, film and comics to mobile phones and digital games, this book examines the media available to different socioeconomic groups of children in India and their articulation with everyday cultures and routines.

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Caring in crisis

Caring in crisis? Humanitarianism, the Public and NGOs

Irene Bruna Seu and Shani Orgad, eds. (Palgrave, 2017)

Drawing on an original UK-wide study of public responses to humanitarian issues and how NGOs communicate them, this timely book provides the first evidence-based psychosocial account of how and why people respond or not to messages about distant suffering. The book highlights what NGOs seek to achieve in their communications and explores how their approach and hopes match or don’t match what the public wants, thinks and feels about distant suffering

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The class

The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age

Sonia Livingstone and Julian Sefton-Green (NYU Press, 2016) 

Based upon fieldwork at an ordinary London school, The Class examines young people's experiences of growing up and learning in a digital world. In this original and engaging study, Livingstone and Sefton-Green explore youth values, teenagers’ perspectives on their futures, and their tactics for facing the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. The authors follow the students as they move across their different social worlds—in school, at home, and with their friends, engaging in a range of activities from video games to drama clubs and music lessons. By portraying the texture of the students’ everyday lives, The Class seeks to understand how the structures of social class and cultural capital shape the development of personal interests, relationships and autonomy.

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Everyday media culture in Africa

Everyday Media Culture in Africa: Audiences and Users

Wendy Willems and Winston Mano, eds. (Routledge, 2016)

African audiences and users are rapidly gaining in importance and increasingly targeted by global media companies, social media platforms and mobile phone operators. This is the first edited volume that addresses the everyday lived experiences of Africans in their interaction with different kinds of media: old and new, state and private, elite and popular, global and national, material and virtual. So far, the bulk of academic research on media and communication in Africa has studied media through the lens of media-state relations, thereby adopting liberal democracy as the normative ideal and examining the potential contribution of African media to development and democratization. Focusing instead on everyday media culture in a range of African countries, this volume contributes to the broader project of provincializing and decolonizing audience and internet studies.

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Youth Participation in Democratic Life

Youth Participation in Democratic Life: Stories of Hope and Disillusion

Michael Bruter, Shakuntala Banaji, Sarah Harrison, Bart Cammaerts, and Nick Anstead (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

This book analyses and assesses the contexts, nature and the diversity of young people's participation in European democratic life. The authors provide an interdisciplinary conceptual framework addressing participation, power, democracy, efficacy and media. Using dynamic, original data collected in surveys, focus groups, interviews and a field experiment, Youth Participation in Democratic Life address young people's attitudes towards voting, participation and representation in policy processes and politicians.

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Participatory Mapping

Participatory Mapping: New Data, New Cartography

Jean-Christophe Plantin (Wiley, 2014)

The social and technical properties of the Web redefine how maps are created, published and used online. This book characterizes these contemporary forms of Web-based cartography. It draws a comparison with both previous analogical and digital maps, it characterizes the new online cartographers, and it shows how maps interact with other Web applications and sources of data. The case study of the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant disaster in March 11, 2011 provides a vivid example of how these maps can sustain the involvement of citizens during a crisis. By presenting the international collaboration of mapmakers who created online radiation maps, this case study illustrates how science and politics are inseparable in Web-based maps.

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Media and the City

Media and the City: Cosmopolitanism and Difference

Myria Georgiou (Polity, 2013) 

With the majority of the world's population now living in cities, questions about the cultural and political trajectories of urban societies are increasingly urgent. Media and the City explores the global city as the site where these questions become most prominent. As a space of intense communication and difference, the global city forces us to think about the challenges of living in close proximity to each other. Do we really see, hear and understand our neighbours? This engaging book examines the contradictory realities of cosmopolitanization as these emerge in four interfaces: consumption, identity, community and action. Each interface is analysed through a set of juxtapositions to reveal the global city as a site of antagonisms, empathies and co-existing particularities.

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The Ironic Spectator

The Ironic Spectator: Solidarity in the Age of Post-Humanitarianism

Lilie Chouliaraki (Polity, 2012)

WINNER of the 2015 ICA Outstanding Book Award. This path-breaking book explores how solidarity towards vulnerable others is performed in our media environment. It argues that stories where famine is described through our own experience of dieting or where solidarity with Africa translates into wearing a cool armband tell us about much more than the cause that they attempt to communicate. They tell us something about the ways in which we imagine the world outside ourselves.

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Read a review here and here.

Imagining the Internet

Imagining the Internet: Communication, Innovation and Governance

Robin Mansell (Oxford University Press, 2012)

This book is an impressive survey of our collective and cumulative understanding of the evolution of digital communication systems and the Internet. Whilst the information societies of the twenty-first century will develop ever more sophisticated technologies, the Internet is now a familiar and pervasive part of the world in which we live, work, and communicate. As such it is important to take stock of some fundamental questions - whether, for example, it contributes to progress, social cohesion, democracy, and growth - and at the same time to review the rich and varied theories and perspectives developed by thinkers in a range of disciplines over the last fifty years or more.

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Read a review here and here.


WikiLeaks: News in the Networked Era

Charlie Beckett, with James Ball (Polity, 2012)

This is the first book to examine WikiLeaks fully and critically and its place in the contemporary news environment. The authors combine inside knowledge with the latest media research and analysis to argue that the significance of Wikileaks is that it is part of the shift in the nature of news to a network system that is contestable and unstable. Welcome to Wiki World and a new age of uncertainty.

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When News Was New

When News Was New

Terhi Rantanen (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)

This book investigates how news has re–invented itself at different historical moments––from medieval storytellers to 19th century telegraph news agencies to 21st century bloggers. It offers a new way of understanding news in our history and culture

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