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Mapping Communication and Media Research: Conjunctures, Institutions, Challenges

by Juha Koivisto, Juha and Peter D. Thomas

218 p.
ISBN: 978-951-44-7920-5 29.00€
Publisher: Tampere University Press. TUP

Communication and media research has emerged in recent years as one of the most successful and dynamic fields of activity in the contemporary university. The explosive growth has prompted concern about a ‘lack of clarity’ of the field and its capacity to respond productively to current and future challenges. How can we account for the spectacular rise of communication and media research? What type of academic activity is it? Is it a ‘discipline’, an interdisciplinary ‘field’, a new ‘discourse’ or an ‘institution’ including different approaches?

Communication and media research is analysed in this study as a ‘hegemonic apparatus’, or a terrain of conflicting forces and organisation forms upon which social, cultural and political projects and values are produced, criticised and challenged. The authors argue that contemporary communication and media research can only be understood by referring to the concrete social, cultural and political contexts in which it occurs.

Drawing upon a series of detailed reports covering communication and media research internationally, from Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan and South Korea, the study provides a global overview of the contemporary situation and assesses future challenges and opportunities. Key indices include university departments, professorships and research centres, doctoral studies, gender relations, research funding, internationalisation and publishing and the impact of university reforms.

This study will be essential reading for all those concerned with the current state of this successful ‘non-discipline’ and its significance for critical intellectual practice today.

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