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03 Apr 2007
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£73.00
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9781403985347
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20 Jan 2010
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£22.99
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9780230247383
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Governments in many countries fear voting turnout and political engagement is in terminal decline, threatening the long-term legitimacy of the democratic process. Meanwhile definitions of politics and the public world are changing, while media formats are proliferating and media audiences fragmenting in the age of digital media.

How are these important trends related? And what do our everyday habits of consuming media contribute to our possibilities of being effective citizens?

Nick Couldry, Sonia Livingstone and Tim Markham address these questions in their pathbreaking new book based on research into the 'Future of Public Connection'. The book reports their findings and explains highly original methodology, involving people across England producing diaries for three months tracking their perspective on the public world. The book includes interviews, a nationwide survey and an authoritative review of the current literature on democratic theory, political sociology and media audiences.

The result is a major assessment of the difference that media, and our ways of living with media, make to the condition of democracy.


Description

Governments in many countries fear voting turnout and political engagement is in terminal decline, threatening the long-term legitimacy of the democratic process. Meanwhile definitions of politics and the public world are changing, while media formats are proliferating and media audiences fragmenting in the age of digital media.

How are these important trends related? And what do our everyday habits of consuming media contribute to our possibilities of being effective citizens?

Nick Couldry, Sonia Livingstone and Tim Markham address these questions in their pathbreaking new book based on research into the 'Future of Public Connection'. The book reports their findings and explains highly original methodology, involving people across England producing diaries for three months tracking their perspective on the public world. The book includes interviews, a nationwide survey and an authoritative review of the current literature on democratic theory, political sociology and media audiences.

The result is a major assessment of the difference that media, and our ways of living with media, make to the condition of democracy.


Reviews



'It is almost as if I had been waiting for precisely this book...it moves us beyond a number of lingering loose assumptions. With inspiring conceptual clarity, detailed empirical study, and a very accessible style, the authors explore the complex character of citizens' media connection in modern democracies.' - Peter Dahlgren, Professor of Media and Communication, Lund University, Sweden

'Nick Couldry, Sonia Livingstone, and Tim Markham apply a timely empirical lens to issues that have been taken-for-granted for too long. It has been too easy to assume a normative role for media in civic knowledge and participation in the face of evidence of decline and then to blame media for that decline. They show that the situation is much more subtle, nuanced, and complex than that; that while the media are central, media cannot alone address the broader conditions that strain a sense of public connection today.' - Professor Stewart M. Hoover, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado

'This book may well prove to be an important one for those interested in the relationship between media and politics...This book is a demanding one to read, but it is a text I will certainly be recommending to students engaged in postgraduate study of audiences, or with any interest in the relationship between media and political engagement.' - Michael Higgins, Particip@tions (Journal of Audience and Reception Studies)

'Couldry et al. have provided some significant and rigorous empirical research on public engagement with, and consumption of, the media. Their research makes an important contribution to debates around the relationship between celebrity and politics, democratic malaise and media effects, which should be of interest to, and should be read by students both of politics and of media and society more generally.' - Heather Savigny, European Journal of Communication


Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Preface
PART I: THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS
Democracy and the Presumption of Attention
Media Consumption and Public Connection
Tracking Public Connection: Some Methodological Issues
PART II: THE PUBLIC CONNECTION PROJECT
Introduction
Mediated Public Connection: Broad Dynamics
The Variability of Media Use
Values, Talk and Action
Democracy Seen from Afar
Engagement and Mediation: Findings from the Public Connection Survey
PART III: CONCLUSION
Conclusion: the Future of Public Connection
Appendices
References
Index


Authors


NICK COULDRY is Professor of Media and Communications, and Director of the Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. He is the author or editor of several books including Media Rituals: A Critical Approach and Listening Beyond the Echoes: Media, Ethics and Agency in an Uncertain World.

SONIA LIVINGSTONE is Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics, UK. She is the author or editor of fourteen books including Audiences and Publics, Children and the Internet, and the Handbook of New Media.


TIM MARKHAM is Lecturer in Journalism in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, UK.