Paško Bilić (CEMEDIG, IRMO) and Thomas Allmer (Paderborn University, Germany) are editors of a special issue of the journal Critical Sociology (SAGE) entitled ‘Critical Sociology of Media and Communication: Theoretical Contributions to a Disconnected Field‘. The idea for a special issue arose from discussions at the conferences of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and the Research Network 18, which are regularly organised by the editors who are network coordinators. The articles were selected based on an international call. After a selection from more than fifty applications, 15 articles were published and are available in the Online First edition. The printed edition of the journal will be published in July 2024, and the expanded edition will be published as a book by the respected international publisher Brill in the series ‘Studies in Critical Social Science’.

Abstract of the introductory article:

The sociology of media and communications was never explicitly defined – nor was there ever an explicit debate about the sub-field. Not having a clear anchor makes it hard to define what its critical component should be. Nonetheless, a rich yet disconnected tradition of sociology and critical political economy allows flexibility to reconsider communication and social relations in the broader societal dynamics of capitalism. Specifying a critical sociological approach to communication can help better define the role of communication at the micro, mezzo and macro levels of society. The multi-paradigmatic heritage of sociological theory can provide new ways of criticising communication power in contemporary society. Diverse contemporary developments in the critique of political economy give a breadth of understanding of the capitalist mode of production and its internal dynamics. Sociology can add depth to understanding social relations within and beyond the production, distribution and consumption process. This introduction sets out the framework for the special issue.

List of published articles:

  1. Bilić, P., & Allmer, T. (2024). Critical Sociology of Media and Communication: Connecting a Disconnected Field. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  2. Slaček Brlek, S., & Mance, B. (2023). The Strictest Taboo: The Marginalization of Marxism in Mainstream Communication Studies. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  3. Bilić, P. (2023). Frankfurt School Legacy and the Critical Sociology of Media: Lifeworld in Digital Capitalism. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  4. Miconi, A. (2023). On Digital Fetishism: A Critique of the Big Data Paradigm. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  5. Arda, B. (2023). Aesthetic Approach for Critical Sociology of Contemporary Communication Technology. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  6. Prug, T., & Žitko, M. (2023). Social Forms Beyond Value: Public Wealth and Its Contradictions. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  7. Splichal, S. (2023). Between (Conceptual) Crisis and Critique: Reclaiming the Critical Epistemic Value of Publicness. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  8. Russell, E.-J. (2023). Certainty in an Uncertain World: Toward A Critical Theory of Opinion. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  9. Sevignani, S. (2024). Communicative Activity: Social Theoretical Foundations for Critical Materialist Media and Communication Sociology in the Digital Age. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  10. Fuchs, C. (2023). Ibn Khaldûn and the Political Economy of Communication in the Age of Digital Capitalism. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  11. Murdock, G. (2023). Ibn Khaldun and Critical Inquiry: A Response to Christian Fuchs. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  12. Fuchs, C. (2023). Ibn Khaldûn and the Political Economy of Communication: A Reply to Graham Murdock. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  13. Lugo-Ocando, J., & Marchesi, M. (2023). Contesting Power From the Periphery: The Latin American Sociological Imagination and the Media. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  14. Leduc, C., Ouellet, M., & Mondoux, A. (2023). The Dialectical Sociology of Michel Freitag and the Critique of Communication Society. Critical Sociology, 0(0).
  15. Prodnik, J. A., & Vobič, I. (2023). News Sources in the Sociology of the Media: A Critical Re-Examination. Critical Sociology, 0(0).


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