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Media and Society

Media and Society
Power, Platforms, and Participation

Second Edition
Additional resources:

May 2021 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

How do media platforms organise social life?
How do media empower or disempower our identities?
How do we understand the impact of algorithms?
How are media audiences produced and managed?

Media & Society introduces the role of the media in social, cultural, political and economic life, unpacking the increasing entanglement of digital media technology with our everyday lives.

It explores the relationship between meaning and power in an age of participatory culture, social media and digital platforms. An age where we both create and consume content, and where we both give and gain attention – translating our social lives into huge flows of data.

Associate Professor Nicholas Carah shows how a critical approach to power helps us not only to understand the role media play in shaping the social, but also how we can become critically informed media citizens ourselves, able to participate and be heard in meaningful ways.

Media & Society expertly introduces all the key concepts and ideas you need to know, and then puts theory into practice by tying them to contemporary case studies. From using Ghostery to track how your personal data is being collected, to exploring misinformation on social media via Youtube, to the reality of internships and freelancing in today’s digital media industry.

It is essential reading for students of media, communication and cultural studies. 

Chapter 1: Meaning, Representation and Power
Chapter 2: Representation
Chapter 3: The Industrial Production of Meaning
Chapter 4: Power and Media Production
Chapter 5: Global Networks
Chapter 6: Platform Media
Chapter 7: Social Media, Streaming and Logistics
Chapter 8: Participatory and Algorithmic Culture
Chapter 9: Making and Managing Audiences
Chapter 10: Producing and Negotiating Identities
Chapter 11: News and Strategic Communication
Chapter 12: Brand Culture
Chapter 13: Media and Communication Professionals
Chapter 14: Managing Participation


Click for online resources

Lecturer resources

  • Glossary of key concepts with text, audio and visual definitions
  • Case study resources: links to further reading and videos relating to in-text case studies, as well as reflective questions and exercises

Nicholas Carah has provided a crucial and brilliantly written text for our time: a clear-eyed and comprehensive approach to the operation of media power in the era of digital capitalism. Finally, we have a rich resource that does justice to the profound transformations wrought by the media that permeate our social world. 

Mark Andrejevic
Professor of Communications & Media Studies at Monash University

As our lives become ever more entangled with media of all kinds, and as digital media platforms grow in power, it is more important than ever to understand the fundamental role of media forms, technologies, and industries in society at large, as well as in the most intimate settings of everyday life. In this rich and thoughtfully compiled book, Carah has provided both a comprehensive account of traditional media studies approaches and a supremely useful guide to the contemporary digital phenomena that are propelling the field forward.

Jean Burgess
Professor of Digital Media at Queensland University of Technology