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Communicating the City

Meanings, Practices, Interactions


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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This book was born from the many conversations, meetings, and presentations that we have shared with colleagues from across the world over the past five years. We first started talking about the need for a volume of this kind at the ECREA Media and the City Temporary Working Group’s meetings in Milan (February 10 2012) and Istanbul (26 October 2012). The following year, we coorganized the very successful conference “Communication and the City: Voices, Spaces, Media” (June 14–15 2013) at the University of Leeds, with the aim of bringing together researchers and practitioners from a variety of national contexts and professional fields to discuss major questions about the urban/communication nexus. With over 70 papers, 16 panel sessions, four keynotes, and nearly 100 participants from 20 different countries, the Leeds conference demonstrated that the relationship between cities and communication has become central to a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Many, though not all of the contributors to this book participated in the Leeds conference. We are grateful to them and to all of the other conference participants for introducing us to their cutting-edge research on the multiple ways in which cities are imagined, made or shared both through and within media and communication.

We are especially grateful to the Urban Communication Foundation, the Department of Communications and Performing Arts at the Catholic University of Milan, and the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds for enabling us...

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