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Communicating the City

Meanings, Practices, Interactions

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Edited By Giorgia Aiello, Matteo Tarantino and Kate Oakley

How human meanings, practices and interactions produce and are produced by urban space is the focus of this timely and exciting addition to the study of urban communication.

Challenging notions of the ‘urban’ as physically, economically or technologically determined, this book explores key intersections of discourse, materiality, technology, mobility, identity and inequality in acts of communication across urban and urbanizing contexts. From leisure and media consumption among Chinese migrant workers in a Guangdong village to the diverse networks and communication infrastructures of global cities like London and Los Angeles, this collection combines a range of perspectives to ask fundamental questions about the significance and status of cities in times of intensified mediation and connectivity.

With case studies from Italy, Britain, Ireland, Russia, the United States and China, this international collection demonstrates that both empirical and critical knowledge on the relationship between communication and urban life has become vital across the humanities and social sciences.

Communicating the City will be essential reading for all scholars and students who desire to gain an in-depth understanding of the multiple roles that media and communication have in lived experiences of the city.

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Afterword: Communication and the city (Kate Oakley / Giorgia Aiello)

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Afterword

Communication and the city

KATE OAKLEY AND GIORGIA AIELLO



For those of us who, like this afterword’s first author, are new to the field of urban communication but have long engaged urban issues in relation to cultural practice and policymaking (Bell & Oakley, 2015), speaking of “communication and the city” can seem a bit too broad if not bewildering, and a superficial sweep of a volume like this will not necessarily make things clearer. For others who, like the second author here, have long considered urban communication as a scholarly home, it may seem all too impossible to speak cohesively of the empirical implications of such a theoretically and methodologically diverse field (Aiello & Tosoni, 2016). After all, what could possibly hold together chapters on a history of journalism, the Deaf experience, people’s uses of locative media, and the process of public shaming? The answer is, of course, the urban—that endlessly capacious category that grounds many sorts of human experiences. But in this case it is a notion of the urban imbricated with a communication infrastructure, what our Introduction calls a pas de deux between urban and communication studies. So, where does this dance take us?

One of the most striking things about a collection like this is the way that, as in the best scholarly traditions, juxtapositions are used to reveal things that can otherwise remain hidden. We might think that the...

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