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RN18 - Sociology of Communications and Media Research

The Sociology of Communications and Media Research Network provides a platform for critical research and debate on questions of power, inequality, identity and social change in increasingly mediatized societies.

At the second conference of ESA in 1995, it was decided to establish a research network around media and communication, a very fast growing field in all countries, which had its own subject associations, both nationally and internationally, but which did not have an organised presence within the ESA. Peter Golding, then at Loughborough University in the UK, organised the necessary formalities and the Sociology of Communications and Media Research Network (Research Network 18) was approved by the ESA and met for the first time at the ESA conference at Essex University in 1997. Peter Golding acted as chair and convenor of the network for a period of over ten years.

The Network has met every year since its formation, both at the ESA biennial conferences and in intervening years. It has become one of the most active and thriving networks, and has always sought to ensure that the sociological investigation of media and communications is given full focus, distinguishing its work from that of large international associations which provide important forums for communications and media research, but do not have especially sociological concerns. It has also always sought to ensure opportunities for younger scholars, researchers and early career researchers to present their work. It offers opportunities to scholars from many countries to inject sociological thinking and research into debates. It provides a platform for critical research and debate on questions of power, inequality, identity and social change in increasingly mediatized societies. Key research areas include but are not limited to the Internet, digital and social media, alternative media, media and protest, journalism, media and capitalism, media work, ideology and media discourse, media and gender, global media, public sphere, political communication, theories of media and communication, media policy, media industries, ownership and power.

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