The study of the media in the field of communication suffers from no shortage of theoretical perspectives from which to analyze media, messages, media systems, and audiences. One of the field's strengths has been its flexibility as it incorporates social scientific and humanist ideas in pursuit of a better understanding of communication and the media. This flexibility and abundance of ideas threatens to muddle the study of communication as it stakes out an interdisciplinary identity.
This series puts on center stage individuals and ideas whose importance to the study of communication can be reconfigured, reinvented, and refocused. Each of the specially commissioned books in the series shares a concern for the heritage of thought in the field of communication. Books provide sophisticated discussions of the relevance of particular theorists or theories, with an emphasis on re-inventing the field of communication, whether by incorporating ideas often considered to be 'outside' the field, or by providing fresh analyses of ideas that have long been considered vital in the field's past. Though theoretical in focus, the books are at all times concerned with the applicability of theory to empirical research and experience, and are designed to be accessible, yet critical, for students - undergraduates and postgraduates - and scholars.