Technology in/as Applied Communication Research

Authored by: Leah A. Lievrouw

Routledge Handbook of Applied Communication Research

Print publication date:  June  2009
Online publication date:  July  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805849837
eBook ISBN: 9780203871645
Adobe ISBN: 9781135231798


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Communication technologies are a pervasive presence in contemporary society. A complex, convergent landscape of conventional media, telecommunications, and computing affords, shapes, and supports (and is itself shaped by) the whole spectrum of human communicative action and understanding. Today’s technologies are not merely channels that “deliver” messages or content, in the traditional production–consumption sense of mass media; they also constitute milieux for sociality, blending the familiar routines and conventions of conversation and small group interaction, the reach and connectivity of global networks, and the sensibilities of local communities and larger cultures. The social changes associated with new technologies in the last few decades have encouraged scholars in many disciplines, including communication, to rethink distinctions between content and form, message and medium, structure and action, and cause and effect; they vividly illustrate Latour’s (1991) maxim that “technology is society made durable” (p. 103).

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