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The Mediated Construction of Reality

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. Drawing on Schutz, Elias and many other social and media theorists, they ask: what are the implications of digital media's profound involvement in those processes? Is the result a social world that is stable and liveable, or one that is increasingly unstable and unliveable?
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Table of Contents

ContentsAcknowledgementsChapter 1: IntroductionPart I: Constructing the Social WorldChapter 2: The Social World as Communicative ConstructionChapter 3: History as Waves of MediatizationChapter 4: How We Live With MediaPart II: Dimensions of the Social WorldChapter 5: SpaceChapter 6: TimeChapter 7: DataPart III: Agency in the Social WorldChapter 8: SelfChapter 9: CollectivitiesChapter 10: OrderChapter 11: ConclusionNotesReferencesIndex

About the Author

Nick Couldry is Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science Andreas Hepp is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI), University of Bremen.


"This book by Couldry and Hepp might well become a new classic in the theory of the social, on par with Elias and Latour. Theorizing the mediated construction of reality, the authors sketch the new contours of a space where order is at stake. Mandatory reading for everyone who seriously reflects on the implications of contemporary media systems and practices on society." Jose van Dijck, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands "A profound and illuminating attempt to bring core traditions of social theory into the study of media in the digital age. An excellent and pathbreaking book." Anthony Giddens, member of the House of Lords, former director of the London School of Economics and Political Science "In this wide-ranging, ambitious volume, Couldry and Hepp revisit Berger & Luckmann's classic work on social construction. Their theory of "deep mediatization" resituates digital media systems and networked "figurations" of communicative action as interdependent, constitutive phenomena in contemporary sociality and social worlds. Mediated Construction is an indispensable contribution to social theory in communication research and media sociology." Leah Lievrouw, University of California, Los Angeles "This is not a book about media, but a book about the world shaped by media. And it is not just about that empirical reality, but about how to understand it. Couldry and Hepp develop insights from phenomenology and integrate these with critical theory in an exciting combination." Craig Calhoun, London School of Economics and Political Science "The Mediated Construction of Reality is simply an important book for sociology and for media and communication studies alike maybe as important as The Social Construction of Reality became half a century ago."Soziopolis

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