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The Political Economy of Communication 2nd Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1412947015
ISBN-10: 1412947014
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Editorial Reviews


Vincent Mosco's heavily revised and thoroughly updated Political Economy of Communication is a masterpiece. (It) is the one single indispensable book that all media students and scholars need to read to understand this vital and growing area of research
Robert W. McChesney
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mosco has done all students of communication a great service by updating this book. It captures, summarizes and illustrates an important set of voices and arguments, key interlocutors in the ongoing effort to construct a critical theory and analytic of contemporary communication and culture
Lawrence Grossberg
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Political Economy of Communication is a contemporary classic of media studies. Now, in this comprehensively revised second edition, Vincent Mosco, among the leading media scholars of our or any time, brings his searing insights and crystal prose to bear on the latest issues and debates of the field… An indispensable resource for researchers, activists, and students everywhere. It is a classic all over again
Toby Miller
University of California, Riverside

The new edition is updated throughout with an expansive bibliography and insights into the intersections between political economy and other disciplines such as sociology, geography, cultural studies, public choice theory and science and technology studies, among others...Mosco’s The Political Economy of Communication, second edition, is a very important resource for scholars, providing a critical and updated review of the field while proposing a forward-looking vision. The book highlights fresh potentials and the continuous relevance of the political economy approach to the study of communication. I would also recommend this as a textbook for graduate courses.

International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics

About the Author

Vincent Mosco is Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society and Professor of Sociology at Queen's University, Canada

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd; 2 edition (May 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412947014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412947015
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Vincent Mosco (http://vincentmosco.com) is Professor Emeritus, Queen's University, Canada. He is formerly Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society and Professor of Sociology. Dr. Mosco graduated from Georgetown University (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in 1970 and received the Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University in 1975.

Dr. Mosco is the author of numerous books on communication, technology, and society. His most recent include To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World (Paradigm, 2014), Critical Studies in Communication and Society (ed. with Cao Jin and Leslie Reagan Shade, Shanghai Translation Publishing House, 2013), Getting the Message: Communications Workers and Global Value Chains (ed. with Catherine McKercher and Ursula Huws, Merlin, 2010), The Political Economy of Communication (Sage, 2009), The Laboring of Communication: Will Knowledge Workers of the World Unite (co-authored with Catherine McKercher, Lexington, 2008), Knowledge Workers in the Information Society (ed. with Catherine McKercher, Lexington, 2007), and The Digital Sublime: Myth, Power, and Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2004).

Dr. Mosco is a member of the editorial boards of academic journals in the North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He has held research positions in the U.S. government with the White House Office of Telecommunication Policy, the National Research Council and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment and in Canada with the Department of Communication. A founding member of the Union for Democratic Communication, Dr. Mosco also served as head of the Political Economy section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research and was a longtime research associate of the Harvard University Program on Information Resources Policy. In addition, he has been a consultant to trade unions and worker organizations in Canada and the United States.

In 2004 Dr. Mosco received the Dallas W. Smythe Award for outstanding achievement in communication research. The Digital Sublime won the 2005 Olson Award for outstanding book in the field of rhetoric and cultural studies. In 2014 the Cultural and Critical Studies Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication presented Dr. Mosco and his partner in life and in research Dr. Catherine McKercher with the Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award for outstanding achievement in research and activism. His latest book To the Cloud was named a 2014 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine.

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Format: Paperback
Mosco is one of the leading authorities on the academic body of knowledge that gives this book its title. It's qualified for the expansive title because Mosco has created a convenient and authoritative text on the theoretical side of the field. An informative introduction describes the field of political economy in communications, and its place in theoretical history. This is followed by a useful and probably groundbreaking deconstruction of the field into the sub-theories of commodification, spatialization, and structuration, while the book ends with useful tie-ins connecting the theories to associated fields like cultural studies. These theoretical concepts are fascinating for those learning about the structure of mass communications, and its effects on politics and the economy.

The problem with this book is that the field of political economy (and not just as applied to communications) is meant to lead to real world activism and results, which can develop from an understanding of base theories. Such potential is mostly missing from this book. Other more worldly authors in this field such as Ben Bagdikian and Robert McChesney (dealing with the loss of localism due to media ownership patterns, and the affects on popular democracy from media power structures, respectively) are recommended as examples of the powerful real-world possibilities of the political economy of communications. Instead Mosco sticks with windy and obtusely written theoretical contortions that are unlikely to have much usefulness outside of academia. An example of this can be seen early in the book: "The specification of mutual constitution grows out of the relationship between one's theoretical formulation and empirical investigation." This sentence is actually in the (relatively) straightforward introduction, and is a portent of the writing style to come, in which obtuse theory clouds the powerful possibilities of the field. [~doomsdayer520~]
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Format: Hardcover
Vincent Mosco's book is a fair introduction to political economy, yet the author fails to state that he comes from a very particular approach of political economy, namely the Marxist (some would call it neo-Marxist). As regards Mosco's boundary work towards cultural studies, I agree that the divide between political economy and cultural studies can be seen as `labour analysis' versus `cultural analysis', and further in terms of structural versus interactionist methodologies. However, I wish to reject Mosco's description of political economy as the theoretical `middle way'. Political economy does not stand out as the reconciling discipline between cultural studies and other disciplines (notably policy studies) for a number of reasons. On the most fundamental level, political economy continues to suffer from the tendency to induct all analysis to class alone, despite political economists' claim that their discipline no longer is aquainted with economism and reductionism. This is in my opinion the greatest weakness of Mosco's text. Also, there is little new to the book, although the author claims to be doing rethinking and renewal.
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